The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) has launched a new interactive website that includes an online chat line on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
The new website supports survivors, families, and youth in learning more about the issue of sexual violence and harassment. As well as offering information on how to access services, a YouTube channel with educational videos, opportunities for youth to gain volunteer hours, the site includes a new online chat to complement the Centre’s 24/7 crisis support phone line at 1-866-298-7778.
The new chat line will be open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at www.kawarthasexualassaultcentre.com. The chat works on smart phones, tablets, and computers.
KSAC — one of only a few sexual assault centre in Ontario offering online chat — may expand chat times depending on demand. The crisis support phone line at 1-866-298-7778 remains open at all times.
KSAC launched the new website in response to a two-year needs assessment that culminated in the 2015 report Lessons From Behind the Door: A Community Report Addressing Access to Services in the Response to and the Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in the City and County of Peterborough.
That report made a series of recommendations on how the community could improve support to survivors of sexual violence.
“Parents and teachers have questions about how to talk with youth,” explains Sonya Vellenga, Executive Director of KSAC. “Survivors want to ask questions about their experiences and receive support for referrals in a confidential setting. People living rurally in Peterborough, Northumberland, Haliburton and City of Kawartha Lakes need online options for reaching out for healing support.”
The Centre is one of only a few in the province currently featuring an online chatting feature. Options for opening up additional chat times will depend on the demand for this new service.
In addition to the online chat, KSAC’s crisis support line at 1-866-298-7778 remains open at all times.