Blog > Why start a chat and text service (and why on IWD)?

Why start a chat and text service (and why on IWD)?

March 8, 2021

Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Day orig­i­nat­ed from the 1910 Inter­na­tion­al Social­ist Women’s Con­fer­ence as a cel­e­bra­tion of the strength of women and a call to action for rad­i­cal social reform. It is with this spir­it of Inter­na­tion­al Women’s day that we launch our new WebChat & Text Sup­port Ser­vice, a part of SACHA’s response to COVID that chan­nels the strengths and com­mit­ment of the fem­i­nist move­ment to sup­port sur­vivors of sex­u­al­ized vio­lence of all genders.

The COVID-19 pan­dem­ic has increased the need for SACHA’s 24-Hour Sup­port Line. How­ev­er, we know that lock­down mea­sures and require­ments to stay home can also mean a lack of pri­va­cy (when iso­lat­ing with oth­ers), and a lack of safe­ty (when iso­lat­ing with an abuser) for some sur­vivors. This can be a bar­ri­er to access­ing sup­port lines over the phone.

Expand­ing our sup­port ser­vices to include the WebChat & Text Ser­vice means greater acces­si­bil­i­ty and will increase the ways through which sur­vivors of sex­u­al vio­lence and their allies can receive sup­port and information. 

About SACHA’s WebChat & Text Sup­port Service

  • The ser­vice will be intro­duced with expand­ed hours to respond to the demands of COVID. The pre­lim­i­nary hours are:
    • Mon­days from 4:00pm to 12:00am
    • Thurs­days from 4:00pm to 12:00am
    • Fri­days from 8:00am to 12:00pm
    • Sun­days from 4:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Any­one 16 years of age or old­er who has expe­ri­enced sex­u­al­ized vio­lence at any time in their life can access the ser­vice, as well as peo­ple who sup­port sur­vivors of sex­u­al violence. 
  • Trained vol­un­teers will pro­vide non-judg­men­tal lis­ten­ing, sup­port, infor­ma­tion and help with explor­ing options. 
  • The plat­form we are using pro­vides end-to-end encryp­tion and no records of con­ver­sa­tions are retained. Sup­port seek­ers can pro­vide as much or as lit­tle per­son­al infor­ma­tion as they are com­fort­able with. 
  • The ser­vice can be accessed by vis­it­ing https://​sacha​.ca/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​c​h​a​t​-​s​u​pport or tex­ting (289) 2077790.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please con­tact SACHA.

We thank the Unit­ed Way Hal­ton & Hamil­ton for their gen­er­ous sup­port of this project through the COVID-19 Emer­gency Com­mu­ni­ty Sup­port Fund.