Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
This page is to help fund the Online Live Chat services now offered by CSASS, a new way to help survivors of sexual abuse. The service helps people to share their experiences and feel confidence in confiding anonymously.
£300 would cover the cost of the IT services for the chat service– contribution towards website hosting, live chat delivery service fees, database fees, to ensure secure handling of live chat client data and live chat access
Offering only telephone or face-to-face support is experienced as a barrier for an increasing number of survivors. On-line or text based support, such as live chat, is an increasingly preferred medium for accessing information and support, particularly by young women – 79% of young women felt confident using online technology, and 54% prioritised email & text according to findings from the Rape Crisis England and Wales Weaving the Web co-production work in 2018. 29% of women in rural areas (who comprise a high proportion of survivors in Cheshire) prioritised live chat services, and face to face counselling was also found to be ‘much lower than other priorities and lower than the average’ for this group.
Anecdotally, some survivors report finding live chat preferable, feeling more in control of the conversation, feeling more comfortable and familiar with on-line communication generally, or finding telephone/voice communication intimidating, particularly for the very personal and difficult issues survivors may need to disclose.
We expect to reach 200 survivors, or family and friends directly supporting survivors, through our live chat service, over the next year.
We will provide a range of services, including: emotional support, information about local services available, signposting to local specialist services, referrals to longer term specialist support (including the CSASS counselling service).
Survivors accessing our existing support lines are anonymous, and regularly tell us they value this anonymity. Survivors are also often vulnerable, and may not find it easy to trust, or to provide personal information at the point they are accessing this service. It is often the first time they have told anyone about their experience. Around 80% of the people we support are survivors of historic sexual abuse, often from many years ago.
Examples of how the service has helped those involved:
“I was sat in my pyjamas on the sofa . . . it was comfortable . . . I just felt very at ease…it felt like a safe circle…I am quite self-conscious so it was, it was perfect for me to do it online.”
Survivor participant in Weaving the Web on-line services consultation
"I remember being motivated to volunteer for CSASS when my eyes were opened to how to easily women were blamed for their sexual assaults . . . The most important thing is to be able to listen to our callers without judgement, sometimes you will be the first or only person to believe them. We also signpost to relevant organisations and make the initial referral for counselling at CSASS. It's a small thing to listen, but I think it's hugely important".
CSASS telephone supportline volunteer, Nov 2018
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