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How Can These Services Help Me?

This page gives you information about four services and how they can help you deal with abuse. The services are Kids Help Line (National), Melbourne Youth Support (Victoria only), CASA sexual assault service (Victoria), and WIRE women's information (Victoria). We asked these services some questions that young people might want to know about, and these were their responses.


KIDS HELP LINE

What will happen if I call KIDS HELP LINE? (Available from anywhere in Australia)

Kids Help line is a phone, email and web counselling service for people aged up to 18. We asked a counsellor what happens at their end when the phone rings.
What should I say if I call?

Just tell us whatever is on your mind. Kids Help Line counsellors are there to listen to you, and won't judge you or put you down. If you don't feel comfortable talking to us on the phone you could email or use web counselling, go to our website to find out how: http://www.kidshelp.com.au

There are three ways you can talk to a counsellor:

1. On the phone - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you really need to talk to someone now, the fastest way is to call the Kids Help Line phone number 1800 55 1800 and speak with a counsellor in person.

2. On the web - 3pm to 9pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday (Queensland time) www.kidshelponline.com.au

3. By email - see the Kids Help Line email counselling section. Sometimes an email response can take up to two weeks. If you need to talk to a counsellor straight away please ring us on 1800 55 1800.

Will the call show up on my phone bill?

Phone calls (from home phones) to 1800 55 1800 (Kids Help Line) are free and will not show up on your phone bill unless it has itemised local calls. Most mobile calls to 1800 55 1800 cost money and will be listed on your bill. Optus mobile calls to 1800 55 1800 are free and will not be listed on your bill.

Will they tell the police?

When you call Kids Help Line, what you say to the counsellor is not shared with any person or organisation outside of KHL. The only time this would be different is if you told us that you were at risk of being harmed. We have a "Duty of Care" to make sure you are safe.

"Duty of Care" situations are when you tell us that, for example,
• Someone is hurting you or not looking after you properly; or
• You are seriously thinking about hurting yourself; or
• You have hurt, or are seriously thinking about hurting someone else.

If you tell us about one of these things, the counsellor will encourage you to give enough information about yourself (like your name and where you are) so that we can make sure you and others are safe.

Will they want to talk to my parents?

Kids Help Line is here for you and is a confidential service. That means we don't talk to your parents, we want to talk with you.

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CASA - CENTRE AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT

What will happen if I call a CASA sexual assault service?

There are fifteen CASAs all around Victoria and there are other sexual assault services in other states (in Australia). Basically all the CASAs do the same thing: provide counselling, support and information for people who have experienced sexual assault.

It is a confidential service and, if someone calls a CASA, they don’t have to give their name. CASAs help people to think about ways to keep safe, for example by telling someone they trust what has happened. The CASA counsellors won’t automatically call parents/family or the police/child protection services, unless there is an immediate threat to someone’s safety. Instead they will talk to the person about what they can do and try to give them the information they need.

If someone has been sexually assaulted in the past, the counsellors at CASAs can help them find ways to deal with what’s happened, provide them with support if they want to make changes in their life or tell their family and friends about it. Really it’s up to each person how they would like CASA to help and what sort of support they need.

How Do I Contact CASA?

To phone your nearest Centre Against Sexual Assault in Victoria, call 1800 806 292 (free call, available 24 hours 7 days a week). To find out about other sexual assault services, see Services.

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MELBOURNE YOUTH SUPPORT SERVICE (Only available in Victoria)

A worker from Melbourne Youth Support Service (MYSS) explained what happens when you call.

What does MYSS do?

Melbourne Youth Support Service (MYSS) is a free statewide information and referral service for young people between 15-25 years of age. We can assist or support you over the phone or in person. We can help with a whole range of issues ranging from accommodation, health and well-being, drug and alcohol info, mental health referrals and general information. We are open 7 days a week with after-hours support (see below for hours and contact details).


Who will I speak to?

If a young person contacts MYSS they will first see or talk to a Telephone Information & Referral worker. They will listen to what’s been happening and then make joint decisions with them about the services they could be linked in to for more support. They will work with you to find somewhere safe for you to stay and other services that might help you.

Will they tell my parents?

MYSS is a confidential service, so we could only contact parents if we had your permission. We would talk it through first so you felt comfortable or at least prepared.

Will they tell the police?

No, because MYSS is a confidential service for young people. The only scenario where the police could be contacted would be if the young person was violent towards staff or other young people at MYSS or damaged our property while they’re here. Even then, we would only call the police to help calm the person down or escort them out – they wouldn’t be arrested or anything. Other than that, the police won’t be involved.
If a young person isn’t safe or is in the middle of a violent situation, we can help by calling the police for them and/or speaking to the police on their behalf - but we wouldn’t call the police without telling the young person first.

Will they call child protection?

Child Protection services are responsible for making sure young people are safe and protected from harm (read more here about Child Protection). If you are under 15 years old and don’t have a safe place to stay, MYSS would need to call Child Protection services, who will find out what’s been happening at home and plan somewhere safe for you to stay (this might be staying at a youth refuge, with another family member, or somewhere else). If you are over 15 years old and your safety is at risk, MYSS would most likely make contact with Child Protection services to plan where you can stay where you are safe.
MYSS won’t contact Child Protection without telling you or asking you about it first. If you’re worried about what will happen, tell them – they will listen to your concerns and do as much as they can to address your concerns.

What should I say if I call MYSS?

If you tell us your name, age and what area you are calling from, it will really assist our workers to work out what services are close to you and what accommodation options you could be linked in with. This can help ensure that your travel time is minimised before coming into our service, which is based in Melbourne's CBD.

Where is MYSS and how do I contact them?

MYSS is located at Frontyard (Frontyard is a big centre of youth services – including MYSS, and Centrelink services, a legal advice service for young people, a health service and other youth services - see http://www.frontyard.org).

MYSS is open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Weekends and Public Holidays 10am-6pm. To contact a worker, phone (03) 9614 3688 or e-mail myss@mcm.org.au. Or you can drop in there without an appointment. See http://www.frontyard.org/myss.htm. If you are ringing from the country, you can call Frontyard on the free call number 1800-800-531 and they will put you through to MYSS – or you can reverse the call charges.

MYSS (and other Frontyard services for young people) are at 19 King St in Melbourne (between Flinders Lane and Flinders St).

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WIRE Women's Information (Only available in Victoria)

WIRE is a service just for girls and women, which provides support and information. We asked a Phone Worker from WIRE to talk about what happens when a young woman calls them....

What will happen if I call WIRE?

When you call WIRE you will talk to another woman who is trained to support you. WIRE’s phone room is staffed by a team of volunteers who range in age from 21 to 60 plus. They are from many different backgrounds and have a broad range of life experiences. They have completed an intensive twelve-week training course which covers domestic violence in depth. They also learn how to be good listeners and how to help you feel better about yourself and more in control of your situation. Our workers will never judge you or tell you what to do.

Will WIRE tell the police?

Our workers will always encourage you to make your own plans and decisions. If you are in immediate physical danger we will only call the police if together we can’t come up with a plan to make sure you’re safe.

Will WIRE want to talk to my parents?

No. If you make the call, you are our client. Our interest is in helping you to keep yourself safe and to make sure you make the most of all the support that is available to you.

What should I say if I call?

Whatever you want to say! It’s helpful to give the phone worker a bit of a run-down on your situation and how you feel about it. After they have listened carefully and respectfully to your story they can work with you to come up with some options for what to do. After a while they will probably put you on hold while they talk to their team and search the database for community services, counsellors and other resources to hook you up with. Of course, if you do not feel ready to get further help and support, it’s also perfectly fine just to talk things through with us and leave it at that.

How do I contact WIRE?

At WIRE we try to take the time to really listen. If it’s the first time you’ve told anyone your story, it might take a while, and you are welcome to call WIRE as many times as you like.

You can call WIRE on 1300 134 130 during business hours (9am – 5pm) from Monday to Friday for the cost of a local call from anywhere in the state. Our service is free and completely confidential. You do not have to tell us your name and we don’t keep any records of our conversation with you. You can also visit our Women’s Information Centre at 210 Lonsdale Street in the city (in between Swanston St and Russell St, Melbourne) and talk to one of our staff face-to-face. No need to make an appointment, you can just drop in anytime 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. See our website www.wire.org.au

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WANT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TALKING TO SERVICES AND HOTLINES?

If you are nervous about calling a service or helpline, or if you want more info on how they work, see Telling Someone - Frequently Asked Questions. For info on calling the police, see our page How Can the Law/Police Help? or check out our quiz Getting Help - True or False.

If you are worried about other family or relationship problems (eg; communication or conflict with parents, divorce, etc) see Links to family and relationship websites.

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