Project #3: Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) – Crisis Support Chat Service

Organization Description

The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) works toward the prevention and eradication of sexual assault.  

Our provincial network represents 29 English-language community-based sexual assault centres in Ontario that offer frontline counselling, crisis support and prevention education to communities across Ontario.

Since 1977, our sexual assault centres have been providing free and confidential counselling, information and support services to survivors of sexual violence. 

These services include: 

  • Face-to-face counselling 
  • 24-hour crisis line 
  • Group Counselling 
  • Hospital, Police reporting & Court accompaniment 
  • Social Activism – for example, Take Back The Night, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and December 6 
  • Public Education program to educate students, professionals and community members about sexual violence and sexual violence prevention 
  • Information on the legal system, community resources and strategies for coping 
  • Information and support for partners, families and friends of survivors

Project Description – Crisis Support Chat Service

Over the past 3 1/2 years, the OCRCC and PRIMAL GLOW Communications have been testing new and innovative strategies connected to technology to increase frontline support to survivors of sexual violence and harassment.

During this exploration period, sexual assault centres piloted several pre-built chat service tools with the goal to find one that could be used to provide crisis online chat services.  Unfortunately, we discovered that these chat tools were either too expensive to continue using, did not provide adequate security features or were not easy to use for the online facilitator or the support seeker. 

With this in mind, we are hoping to create an affordable user-friendly chat platform/service specifically built for the sexual assault centres to facilitate safe and secure online crisis support for survivors of sexual violence.