Sexual Assault Support

“I’ve always been pretty amazed about how strong and composed the women I’ve met are. They’ve been through a pretty traumatic experience but it’s amazing to see the strength in people.” - Sexual Violence Kaimahi

Everyone deserves a life free from sexual violence. Aviva's Sexual Violence Team (formally Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury/SASSC) knows that overcoming the effects of sexual violence can be a difficult and challenging journey. But it needn’t be traveled alone. Our support service is here 24-hours a day to support you, your family/ whānau and friends.

Who can access support?

Aviva's Sexual Violence Team supports adults who have been victims of sexual assault/rape, and close family members/friends of victims. The Team supports people of all genders. We support victims of both recent and historic assaults.  You do not have to report an assault to be supported.

We are currently available in Christchurch, North Canterbury, Selwyn and Ashburton.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is any type of sexual contact or behaviour that you do not willingly and explicitly agree to. It includes a wide range of behaviours, and the words used to describe these are varied. They can include rape, attempted rape, sexual violation, coerced sexual activity, and sexual harassment or threats (including digital harassment and threats).

Many adults also struggle with sexual violence or abuse that they experienced in childhood. Often this has happened within trusted relationships in which behaviours other than violence may have been used to gain control over them. If you have been exposed to sexual violence, it is important to remember that it is not your fault.

How can Aviva help?

Aviva's Sexual Violence Team provides 24/7 rape/sexual assault support, including:

  • support to attend medical exams;
  • support for parents/whānau of people who have been sexually abused;
  • support and advocacy services;
  • and community education and resources.

Beyond the point of crisis:

  • A support worker follows up all referrals to the service with a phone call, which will include an assessment of your needs. They may provide you with information about other relevant services, including counselling, and arrange for a referral for you.
  • We can support you to give Police Statements.
  • They may also provide some ongoing support for you and your whānau as you navigate your experience and recovery.
How do I make contact?
  • Call our 24/7 support line (0800 28482 669)
  • Email (this inbox is checked Monday-Friday, 9-5)
  • If you are an external agency wanting to refer a client you can find our referral form here.
Who else can help?

Safe To Talk 
A national website and helpline available 24 hours a day.

Visit website.

Cambridge Clinic
The Cambridge Clinic is a specialist medical service for men and women who have been sexually assaulted or abused, recently or in the past. We will see anybody, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or residential status. Our specially trained staff provide medical and forensic examinations, and practical and emotional support. We can also refer you to other agencies that can help.

Visit website.

Child Sex Abuse
START is a specialist Christchurch NGO social service that has significant experience in the field of sexual abuse recovery work with child, youth and adult victims of sexual crime.

Visit website.

Ethnic Women Support
The Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group (Christchurch) was founded by ethnic women in Christchurch in response to the need for support services for migrant and refugee women (and their children), struggling to overcome the barriers associated with domestic violence, migration and isolation.

Visit website.

Male Survivors Aotearoa
This Christchurch based Trust was established to enable men to meet with other men who had suffered similar traumatic experiences when they were children.

Visit website.

Christchurch Victim Support Services
Their mission is to ensure that victims of crime, accident and emergency are well supported, safe and in control of their lives.

Visit website.

NZ Police

For information about the legal definition of consent, and the Police complaints procedure, visit NZ Police website.


Contact Us

  • Call us on (03) 378 3847 or 0800 AVIVA NOW (0800 28482 669) - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for people in Canterbury
  • Email (this inbox is checked Monday-Friday, 9-5)
  • If you are a social service or other referring agency, please complete a referral form and forward to Aviva by email


Aviva's sexual violence support is delivered in partnership with START.