Live Chat FAQs
Connect to one of our support workers with our instant messaging service.
- You can chat to a fully trained female support worker in confidence about your situation
- Support workers won’t tell you what to do, but they can give you options around your specific circumstances
- This can be a busy service, but please do stay on the chat and we will respond as soon as possible
- Discuss the dynamics of domestic abuse and give you some clarity about your situation
- Provide initial emotional support and help with safety planning
- Search for refuge vacancies and/or details of your local service
- Give more information about getting an injunction
- Give information around;
- Housing options
- Child contact issues
- Signpost to legal advice or immigration advice
- Signpost to specialist services, for instance, those led ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women, Deaf and disabled women, LGBTQ+ women, or anyone experiencing “honour” based abuse
- Help if you’re concerned about a friend or family member who is experiencing abuse
- Give more information about, and make referrals into the No Woman Turned Away (NWTA) project.
The NWTA team provide dedicated support and telephone advocacy to women experiencing domestic abuse who face barriers in accessing a refuge space or safe accommodation. This could be additional support needs around mental health, substance abuse, disability, or language. Women may have no recourse to public funds, with no access to other support because of their insecure immigration status, they may have large families, or families with boys over 14. There may be other barriers – e.g., not having credit to make the phone call to a refuge, high anxiety levels that mean they are unable to make calls themselves, or other barriers as this is not an exhaustive list.
You can read more about the project here.
- This is a non-exhaustive list, so if you are in any doubt please do reach out via the Live Chat.
- We won’t tell you what to do – this is your decision
- We can’t offer legal, housing or immigration advice directly, but we can signpost to organisations who can provide this type of support
- Unfortunately, we don’t have access to translators via the Live Chat but we can signpost to specialist helplines for different languages. If you need to speak to someone in a language which isn’t English, you can contact your local domestic abuse service who often have access to translators.
- We can’t make contact via phone. We no longer run a Helpline, so if you would prefer to talk on the phone to someone you can find the contact details for your local domestic abuse service here.
- We can’t provide long-term emotional support. As we are a National Service we are unable to provide any case work. If you are looking for ongoing help you can find the contact details for your local domestic abuse service here. If your situation changes or you need practical information, you can absolutely come back to the Live Chat, but your local service will be best placed to provide ongoing emotional and practical support.
- The support we can provide to those outside of the UK is extremely limited. If you are outside of the UK, you may want to look at Lila Help who can provide information about gender-based abuse services globally.
- If you are based in Scotland, you may want to contact Scottish Women’s Aid or in Northern Ireland, Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland. If you are in Wales you may want to contact Welsh Women’s Aid.
If you think you might be experiencing abuse and you’re unsure, come through to the Live Chat and we talk your situation through with you and try to give you greater clarity and understanding.
You might want to have a look at our page on recognising domestic abuse and our relationship checker which will take you through some questions that can help you work out if you might be in an abusive relationship. We also have our Love Respect website which can empower you to talk about what relationship abuse is and what is healthy and unhealthy in your relationships.
If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this site or being able to view the Live Chat, please read our safety information about covering your tracks online. Please use another device that you know is not being monitored to get in touch on the Live Chat and we can provide more information and support on protecting your devices.
Yes, the service is completely anonymous unless you wish to share your personal data. This might be for a referral or a confidential record but it is entirely your choice whether or not you wish to share this data. Please see our safeguarding and confidentiality statement for more details.
Your contact with us is confidential. You do not have to tell the support worker anything you don’t want to, and you do not have to give your name or location. Any information you do give will not be shared with any other professionals without your permission.
The only circumstances in which we will break confidentiality are if we believe a child is at risk or you are a vulnerable adult. We will explain this to you if we feel this is the situation and if we believe that breaking confidentiality is the only option to keep you and your children safe.
For more on confidentiality, visit our Live Chat safeguarding and confidentiality statement.
If you have to leave and come back, ask the support worker for your User ID, this is an ID number we can use to access details of your situation like what kind of abuse you’re experiencing, which region you’re in and what support you might need.
Please see our safeguarding and confidentiality statement.
The service is not automated, you will be speaking to a fully trained female support worker.
If you can’t press the button to start a Live Chat, this means the queue for the Live Chat is currently full, please do come back and refresh the page in five to fifteen minutes so we can support you.
You may have lost your internet connection. If you can, try to get somewhere safe with a good internet connection and come back to the chat. If you’re concerned about someone knowing what you’re doing online, please read our page on covering your tracks online.
If you’re under 18 and you need support, please get in touch with Childline, who you can talk to you by call (0800 1111), webchat or email. If we believe you’re at risk of serious harm, we have a safeguarding duty and may need to provide details to another organisation like the police or children’s services.
If you’re concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email email@example.com.
If you’re a professional seeking support on behalf of someone else, Women’s Aid runs a dedicated service for professionals who are currently working with survivors of domestic abuse. When you get in touch with the service for professionals, our team can search for information about local services, refuge vacancies and more.
It is really positive that you are actively searching for information to help your relative/friend. It is really important that you get the right information on how best to support your relative/friend. You might find our resources on how to support someone you know helpful, and you are welcome to come through to the Live Chat with any questions you have.
We might try to establish if the woman herself is able to make contact us with directly. This will encourage and empower her to take control over her own situation. We can provide emotional and practical suggestions for supporting the woman in question but we will not contact her at the request of a third party as the woman has not provided consent and we cannot ensure it is safe to do so.
You can find information and support from the Respect Phoneline through calls, emails and their webchat service.
If you need support and your question hasn’t been answered here, please come on to the Live Chat where you’ll be supported by a fully trained female support worker.
You’re not alone. We know reaching out for help can be hard but we’re here. We will always support you without judgement.