When Is This Service Available?
Nova Vita’s text and online chat service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, there may be times that this service may be disrupted or unavailable. We will do our best to have a notice posted if this happens.
Who Is This Service For?
This service is for all individuals in Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations and surrounding areas who are 16 years of age or older and;
- are concerned about their safety,
- are currently experiencing or have experienced abuse in their relationship,
- are unsure if their relationship is abusive,
- have used abuse in their relationship,
- are looking for more information about Nova Vita services or services in the community,
- are looking for information or resources for themselves or someone else,
- are homeless or at risk of being homeless,
- are confused and don’t know where to start to reach out for support.
What Does This Service Offer?
Crisis Counsellors can offer emotional support, safety planning, information on our services, referrals to community resources, information about emergency shelter, suggestions on how to support someone in an abusive relationship, and other related issues.
Please note, we are unable to offer admission to our emergency shelter through the Text and Online Chat Service. If you are looking for emergency shelter, please call our crisis line 519-752-HELP (4357) or come in person to Nova Vita, 59 North Park St in Brantford, Ontario.
At this time, our Text and Online Chat Service is for crisis and immediate support only. If you need to connect with one of our other programs and services, please call our business line at 519-752-1005.
How Does This Service Work?
You can access our Text and Online Chat Service via our website (www.novavita.org/chat) or by texting 519-752-HELP (4357).
When you use our Text and Online Chat Service, you remain anonymous. This means that we have no information about your name, number, or location unless you share this with us. Our Text and Online Chat Service does not save any information about you either. All messages are secured though end-to-end encryption and we do not track your IP address. You have control of how you interact with our services. You can choose to provide us with your personal information (i.e. name and address) and to end the conversation whenever you’d like. Since we DO NOT save any of your information, if you wish to resume a conversation where you left off you will have to re-share your information with us, or call our crisis line at 519-752-HELP (4357).
- Text: You will need a cell phone and cell service in order to access our text service. However, you do not need a data plan or internet connection. Text 519-752-HELP (4357) to start your conversation. For your safety, be sure to delete your text history once you’re done texting with us. Please note that text messages cannot be end-to-end encrypted, so cell phone providers may keep copies of messages on their servers. Also, if someone else has access to your phone bill, they will be able to view the number that you text. We will delete the message history from our end, but you will have to clear the messages on your device for safety. For more safety tips and how to clear your history please click here.
- Online Chat: You will need a device with access to the internet (such as computer, smart phone, or tablet) to access our online chat service. To access the online chat, go to our website (www.novavita.org/chat) and click the “Chat Online Now” button. A chat window will open, and will connect you to a Crisis Counsellor as soon as one is available. You can end the conversation at any time by closing the window or clicking the Quick Escape button. When the conversation is done, your chat history will be erased from our end. Online chat is end-to-end encrypted so only the person texting and responding can view the contents of the messages, unless your device has been tampered with. For your safety, be sure to delete your online history once you’re done chatting with us. For more safety tips and how to clear your history please click here.
Safety and Respect
As an anti-violence organization we approach our services through a framework that prioritizes minimizing abuse while maximizing safety and respect. This includes respect for our Crisis Counsellors who are facilitating this chat service. In prioritizing the safety of our Counsellors, any use of this service as a prank or to harass our workers will not be tolerated and there will be no further engagement with the user. Use of Nova Vita Text and Chat Service that is threatening, abusive, harmful or violent violates our commitment to respect, and in these situations, we will end the conversation. This chat service is a place for those seeking help or support and we want everyone to feel safe.
Our chat services are confidential and anonymous. This means we only know what you tell us and we do not share this information with anyone outside of our organization. You get to choose to share as much or as little information as you would like. However, there are limits to our confidentiality where Crisis Counsellors may have to involve someone else or share something private that you have shared with us. Those limits are as follows:
- If there is a child being harmed or at risk of being harmed.
- If there is a risk of harm to yourself or to someone else.
- If there is a medical emergency.
- If there is a court order.
In these situations, we may need to share some of the information you provided to us.
Privacy and Security
In order to ensure that your information remains private and secure, we have safety measures like encryption and authentication in place to protect your information. Any information shared by you will not be given to any third party (except in the cases explained above). Our Crisis Counsellors can give you tips on how to increase your privacy and safety while using the internet.
For More Information, or Other Ways to Connect to Nova Vita’s 24 Hour Crisis & Support Line: