Profile of Service Users
CASA House is committed to providing services to victim/survivors of sexual assault, support and consultation for friends, non-offending family members and other professionals.
The service is open to both women and men from the age of 16, and from all socio/economic and culturally diverse backgrounds.
The scenarios set out below illustrate the many different people who access the service on a daily basis:
A 32 year old woman rings the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (After Hours Service) crying and distressed. She is calling from home. Earlier that evening she attended a nightclub with friends, met a man and went for a coffee with him. He offered to drive her home and when he pulled up outside the house, he wanted go into the house with her. She refused and he proceeded to rape her in the car. Maria is feeling very confused and thinks she may have led him on and has called the service for support.
A male welfare co-ordinator at a private school phones the service to consult regarding a 14 year old female student who disclosed to him that her 19 year old brother has been sexually 'interfering' with her for the past 3 years. The girl has indicated that she is pregnant. The co-ordinator has called the service for urgent advice on his options.
A 33 year old victim/survivor of child sexual assault from approximately 6 years to 16 years of age rings the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (After Hours Service) at 2 am. Her uncle was the offender. She is feeling depressed and unable to sleep because of the nightmares and flashbacks she is experiencing. Joan lives alone and although she has several close friends, she has told no-one about the abuse. Basically Joan has kept it to herself all these years and wants to talk about her issues with a counsellor/advocate.
Susan is the mother of a 10 year old, who has disclosed that 'daddy has been touching her'. Mother, father and two other daughters aged 7 and 12 years live together. Susan is in a state of disbelief and denial and does not know what to do. She is ringing CASA House to find out what her options are and how she can protect her daughter.
Mark is a 21 year old man who ran away from home when he was 13 years old as a result of ongoing physical violence perpetrated by his father. Mark lived on the streets for the next 2 years supporting himself through prostitution. Mark has used alcohol and a number of illicit drugs while living on the streets. He has been living in a youth refuge for several months.
For the past 2 days Mark has been withdrawn and uncommunicative and today got into a fight with another resident and damaged furniture at the unit. When approached by a worker he disclosed that a few nights ago he went out with a group of friends and ended up in the local park drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Mark separated from the group and was sexually assaulted by a man who was an acquaintance of one of his friends. The worker initially contacts CASA House for information regarding crisis response for Mark, who then speaks with the telephone worker.
Francesca is a 47 year old woman who has been in and out of mental health services for most of her life. She lives a transient existence and has been told by various professionals that she is a 'multiple' or schizophrenic, and she believes she is 'crazy'.
Yesterday Francesca was discharged from a psychiatric hospital and placed by an ethno-specific housing agency in short term accommodation. Francesca is distressed and discloses to a worker that she was assaulted by a male patient at the hospital. She was not believed and her medication was increased. Eventually Francesca contacts CASA House seeking support.