YWCA Dayton’s 24/7 crisis hotline adds online chat

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YWCA Dayton’s 24/7 crisis hotline adds online chat

Categories: Blog, Domestic Violence, News, Sexual Assault, Shelter Services

YWCA Dayton has operated a 24/7 crisis hotline since 1977. Now we’ve expanded services even further by adding an online chat feature.

In 2022, the hotline team answered 6,751 calls about domestic violence, sexual violence, and resources. But not every person who needs to reach the hotline feels safe talking out loud.

Because of this, sometimes people in crisis reach out to us through less secure channels that aren’t frequently monitored, such with a Facebook message.

While callers can continue to reach YWCA Dayton at 937-222-SAFE (7233), now people can also send messages to our same crisis hotline staff for help with abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, safety planning, or resource referrals. This encrypted chat is far more secure than social media or email messages and also has a quick escape button to quickly close the chat window.

To chat online with crisis staff, click here. 

Nycia Lattimore, crisis services manager, said people who reach out to the hotline team over chat can get the same help as people who reach out over the phone.

“You are reaching the same hotline team, and now you have the privacy and security that comes with the crisis chat feature,” Lattimore said.

Online safety

The tool that YWCA Dayton uses for online chat, ResourceConnect Web Chat, is end-to-end encrypted. That means only you and the YW staff you’re chatting with can read the contents of the messages being sent. Even ResourceConnect staff are not able to read the contents of your messages, and thus would not be able to hand over any readable content in the event of a court order.

The contents of the messages do not get saved anywhere on your device. Unless you take screenshots of your conversation, once you close your browser window or a message has hit its message expiration date, that message will be completely gone. Also, once a message has hit its message expiration date, or you delete it or the conversation it was used in, that message will be permanently removed from the ResourceConnect servers.

If your Internet connection is being monitored or your device has a virus, malware, spyware or something similar installed on it, information could be noticed, recorded, or read. To the best of your ability, please ensure that you are using a safe, non-infected device. If you believe your device has the potential to have been tracked or compromised, it is safer for you to use your device to communicate with ResourceConnect, or call from an un-monitored phone.