Access to Arch

Arch is for anyone affected by sexual harm who is likely to be engaging with two or more service providers at Arch.

We welcome people of any age, gender identity and sexual orientation, from all communities and backgrounds.

You can bring a support person with you to Arch, such as a safe friend or family member or someone from an organisation.

It is not necessary to have permanent residency to come to Arch.

No. Known perpetrators or people suspected of causing sexual harm do not come to Arch. Talk to us if you are worried about this.

Arch service providers may be able to work with children and young people who have displayed harmful sexual behaviours. Ask an Arch service provider for more information.

Yes, if you are likely to be engaging with two or more service providers at Arch.

There are no time limits or expectations around coming to Arch. For example, you may wait a long time after your experience occurred or you may come straight away. You may have an initial appointment and then have a break and not come back for a while. It is up to you.

Choose one of the following options:

Your online enquiry will be received by Arch reception staff (employed by Laurel House in the north or the Sexual Assault Support Service in the south), who will forward it to the service provider you want to hear from, who will contact you as soon as possible.

You do not have to give your real name. You can use a pseudonym if you prefer.

Online enquiries are only monitored during business hours – Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, except public holidays.

Do not use the online enquiry form if you need an immediate response. Instead contact an Arch service provider directly using the details provided on this website.

  • Visit Arch:
    • Level 1, 102-104 Cameron Street, Launceston
    • Level 2, 54 Victoria Street, Hobart

Yes, click the tab at the top of the page for contact numbers for after-hours support from Arch service providers.

Specialist police investigators are available outside of regular business hours on 131 444 and crisis phone counselling, as well as support to attend a forensic medical examination, is available from Laurel House and the Sexual Assault Support Service 24/7 on 1800 697 877.

Contact an Arch service provider. They provide advice and support independent of Arch and no matter where you live in Tasmania.

In a non-emergency and if you are able to travel to Launceston or Hobart you can arrange to come to Arch, if Arch is a suitable response for you.

A third Arch will open on the north-west coast of Tasmania in 2024. Arch service providers will work under the one roof at the new site to provide coordinated and collaborative, trauma informed and victim-centred support.

No, Arch does not replace or duplicate existing services. People affected by sexual harm can continue to access existing services.

Arch is a space and partnership that provides a new way to support people affected by sexual harm. Staff at Arch continue to work for their home organisation while also working together at Arch.

Arch expands the choices available about where to go for help if you are affected by sexual harm.

You can access existing services which have not changed because of Arch.

If you have accessed an Arch service provider and want to speak with another Arch service provider but not at Arch, let them know so that they can arrange this.

Service delivery at Arch

Arch has been designed with safety and wellbeing in mind. Arch is a calm, warm and welcoming space. Check here if you would like to see what rooms at Arch look like.

The police interview rooms look the same as the counselling rooms, as far as possible. The necessary equipment for recording statements with police has been integrated so that the space is comfortable and less confronting. Arch is not a police station.

There are rooms set up with resources for children, as well as modern and accessible bathrooms.

If you need an immediate response, contact an Arch service provider directly using the details provided on this website. They will have an initial conversation with you and depending on your situation, will advise you about the process and timeframe for having further conversations, such as when the next appointment is available.

If you make an enquiry using our online enquiry form, you may not receive a response straight away. Online enquires are monitored by reception staff at Arch during regular business hours, who then forward enquiries to service providers who will respond to you as soon as possible. See the information above about arranging to come to Arch.

Get help anytime:

  • In a non-emergency call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.
  • Speak to a specialist sexual assault counsellor by calling the Sexual Assault Support Line on 1800 697 877 (including to get support to attend a forensic medical examination).

Every person’s experience will vary depending on their needs. Generally speaking, and in a non-emergency, a first appointment may go something like this:

  • You come to the entry door and are greeted by reception staff – Arch reception staff are from Laurel House (Arch North) and the Sexual Assault Support Service (Arch South). They welcome you and settle you in before letting the staff you have come to see know you have arrived.
  • You meet with staff in a private room and they ask for some details from you in a trauma sensitive way. They listen and do not judge you. They provide information and support, including options for receiving support from multiple service providers at Arch if this hasn’t already been discussed with you. You can ask questions, discuss things that are on your mind, and find out about your options.
  • Depending on what you choose, staff may need to share information about you with another Arch service provider. They ask for your consent to do this, which involves you signing a form.
  • Your needs are prioritised. Staff respect what you choose to do and realise that you may need more time to consider your options.

If it is something you want during the first appointment, another service provider from within Arch can join in the discussion about your options. For example, after speaking with a counsellor for a while, you may request that a police officer joins the conversation so that you can hear directly from them to help inform your decisions.

Please tell the staff at Arch the things that will help you feel safe and comfortable and/or if there is something they should do differently.

Staff at Arch have expert knowledge, skills and experience in supporting people who are affected by sexual harm. They include qualified counsellors, social workers and specialist police investigators. Police at Arch are dedicated to investigating sex crimes.

Staff at Arch have completed induction training, including on Aboriginal cultural competency and awareness, and trauma sensitive practice.

Staff at Arch are building a healthy and collaborative culture and a team identity, to support the new multidisciplinary response.

The Arch values are: Safety, Respect, Trust, Connection and Learning. They apply for all interactions, including if staff need to have tricky conversations as part of working together.

Family Violence Workers are located at Arch. They are available to provide information and support to people who have experienced family violence where there is a sexual harm element.

They do not get involved with all family violence matters because Arch, as a pilot program, is set up specifically to improve how services respond to people affected by sexual harm.

For people who have experienced family violence where there is not a sexual harm element, please contact the specific services for family violence that already exist across the State.

This link will take you to the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service website.

Some other family violence service providers are listed here.

At the moment we are focussed on settling in to the new sites and making sure that Arch service providers have everything they need to support clients under the new service delivery model.

We look forward to exploring other support services operating within Arch during the pilot period.

No. FMEs are still conducted by the specialist teams at the hospitals, which are set up to do them.

Support to attend a FME is available 24/7 via sexual assault support services on 1800 697 877.

Arch service providers are experienced in supporting children and young people. We have resources to help make children and young people feel comfortable including toys, books, puzzles and art supplies.

We expect that children will come to Arch with an adult support person and encourage young people to also attend with a support person.

Arch service providers are independently required to comply with Tasmania’s new Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework. Where required they are building on existing policies and procedures to embed the Framework within organisational practices. A child and youth safe strategy is also being developed for Arch.

See also the information below about witness intermediaries being available at Arch to support children and vulnerable people.

Everyone is welcome to bring a support person, such as a safe friend or family member or someone from an organisation. Assistance dogs are welcome.

Please let us know if you would like help with communicating or accessibility. We will do all that we can to accommodate your needs.

Arch sites have modern and accessible bathrooms.

Information on our website is available in accessible formats.

See also the information below about witness intermediaries being available at Arch to support vulnerable people.

Yes, police officers at Arch arrange for witness intermediaries to support children and vulnerable people when they are giving a statement at Arch to assist with a police investigation.

Witness intermediaries are qualified professionals who act impartially and assist with communication between vulnerable witnesses and police.

Use the online form or talk to an Arch service provider to give feedback. You can also ask us for a paper copy of the form.

We are interested to know your thoughts on what is working well and what we could do differently. We will use this information to improve what we do.

Arch is being evaluated by an independent consultant with expertise in the area.

The Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University, in partnership with the University of Tasmania, is contracted as the independent evaluator of the Arch pilot program. The appointment followed a competitive procurement process.

Visit the Institute of Child Protection Studies online to learn about what they do.

The evaluation team will review and evaluate Arch at various stages during the pilot period. The findings will be taken onboard and used to adjust the service delivery model to make improvements as the pilot progresses.

People with lived experience of sexual harm, including those who have received support at Arch, will have the opportunity to participate in the evaluation. 

Feedback on what is working well and what we could do better is welcome anytime. Complete the online form, ask us for a paper copy or pass your feedback on via an Arch service provider.

Safety at Arch

Yes, we want you to tell us so we can help you feel comfortable and safe.

For example, tell us:

  • If you do not want to talk with a police officer who is male and where possible an appointment will be made for you with a specialist police investigator who is female.
  • Your pronouns.
  • If you need help with communicating or accessibility.
  • If there is something we need to say or do differently.

Yes, for the safety of clients and staff the doors are always locked.

Do not hesitate to let us know you have arrived by ringing the bell. You are able to see through the film on the entry door to get a sense of what is happening in the reception area.

Police at Arch

Being around police can make some people feel uncomfortable. The police uniform can make these feelings worse. To help make people feel more comfortable at Arch, police wear casual clothes and their cars are not marked.

While some people are happy about this approach, we realise that others feel even more worried about coming to Arch. They would prefer to be able to tell immediately if someone at Arch is a police officer, without having to ask anyone else. With police at Arch not in uniform this ability is removed. We have things in place to support people who feel this way.

The situations inside Arch where you might see a police officer and not know, are in reception and in the hallways. If you are concerned about this please raise it with your Arch service provider who can ask reception staff to always bring you straight through to a counselling room. They can also check the hallways and reception area before you are about to leave.

Police officers at Arch have undertaken trauma-sensitive practice training and Aboriginal cultural competency training. Like all staff at Arch, they want everyone who visits Arch to feel safe and comfortable. If you choose to have a conversation with a police officer at Arch, they will be introduced as a police officer or will let you know before you start talking with them. Please let them know if there is something they could do differently, to support you.

No, you do not have to go to a police station first, but you may choose to. If you do go to a police station to report sexual violence, specialist sex crimes investigators will be called to meet you and will provide information and support.

Alternatively, in a non-emergency, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 to be put in touch with specialist investigators.

In an emergency, call 000.

In a non-emergency call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 to be put in touch with specialist sex crimes investigators. Or call another Arch service provider that your client would also like to see and they will put you in touch with police at Arch.

Yes. Contact police by calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

You will be put in touch with specialist sex crimes investigators who will make an appointment for you. At the appointment they will give you an update and talk with you about your options.

Yes, you can talk with police to get information and support without having your conversation recorded. You can also meet with police at Arch in one of the counselling rooms rather than the police interview rooms. 

Need more information or something different?

Use the online form to contact Arch.

An adult woman on mobile phone in library

Arch South and North

The rooms at Arch

Southern Arch reception area

Arch has been designed with safety and wellbeing in mind. Arch is a calm, warm and welcoming space.

Southern Arch counselling room area
Northern Arch police interview room