Live Chat

Our Live Chat service is being paused from Saturday 25 December 2021 while we plan our new opening times. We will update this page as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, our confidential and anonymous helpline and email support services are continuing as normal.

When is the Live Chat service open?

The Live Chat is open on Fridays, 10am – 12.30pm.

What is the Live Chat service?

If you need to talk, you can chat with one of our Live Chat volunteers during open hours.

It is an online service where you have up to 45 minutes to chat with one of our trained women and non-binary volunteers via text.

During the session, the volunteer will create a safe space for you to talk, and we will listen to whatever you want to say, at your pace. We will help you to find ways of expressing difficult feelings and to talk about difficult situations, without offering advice or telling you what to do.

We can ask questions and help you explore your options, and if you ask us for information about other forms of support, we can help provide this too.

Who is the service for?

Our Live Chat service is available for women and girls of all ages and backgrounds who have been subjected to, or are survivors of, any form of rape, child sexual abuse or any form of sexual violence. It doesn’t matter when this abuse happened, whether recently or a long time ago, we are here for you.

This includes those women and girls who are trans.

It is also available to non-binary individuals who have complex gender identities which include ‘woman’.

We are also here for women and girls who are supporting a female survivor, personally or professionally.

Male survivors and supporters can find information about relevant support services here.

How do I start and end a chat?

You can start a chat by clicking the green ‘Chat live with us’ at the bottom right of your screen.

You can end a chat with us whenever you like, by clicking the cross at the top right of the chat box, and the window will disappear.

There will then be an optional survey that you can complete (see ‘Can I leave feedback/make a complaint?’ in the Frequently Asked Questions section below).

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have come to this page before the Live Chat opens and are waiting for it to open, you will need to refresh the page when it opens (at 10am) in order to see when it has gone online.


If you have any queries about the Live Chat service, please have a read through our FAQs below. If you don’t find the answer you need, please contact us on

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Live Chat FAQs

Our Live Chat service is for women and girls.

While we recognise the experiences and pain of men who have suffered any kind of sexual violence, here at Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre we have found that a women-only service provision is an invaluable environment for many female users.

We recognise the need for specialist services for men and more information about these services can be found here.

Our Live Chat service is available for all women and girls, including those who are trans. It is also available to non-binary individuals who have complex gender identities which include ‘woman’ and those who experience oppression as women.

We treat all forms of sexual abuse seriously and are here for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure how to name it, if you don’t fully remember or if aren’t sure how you feel about it, we will listen and talk this through with you.

We have taken extensive measures to protect your privacy. Our Live Chat Helpline is an anonymous service.

You don’t have to give us your name or any identifying details about yourself. Because we don’t see any information about you, we have no way of recognising repeat visitors. This means that we will treat each conversation as individual, and if you use live chat more than once, we won’t pick up conversations where we left off.

We do not have access to the IP address of the device you are using, and therefore your location is unknown to us.

You can also find our privacy statement here.

You can talk to us whenever we are open, and each chat can be up to 45 minutes long. If you contact us towards the end of our opening times your chat may be shorter. We ask that you only chat to us once each day.

If you contact us more than once over time, you will chat with different volunteers. As we do not keep records of your chats, the volunteer will not be aware of what you have previously talked about.

You can talk to us about anything in complete confidence. We will never repeat anything you say outside of Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre.

We do discuss our live chat helpline conversations confidentially with other volunteers and supervisors within the service. This is to encourage each other to deliver a good and consistent support service. We ensure this information never reaches anyone else.

We do not report anything that is said to us to the police or any other outside body. Our confidentiality policy is available for download if you want further information.

If you are under 18, we will not pass along anything you say unless you tell us your full name and address and ask us to report to the police on your behalf. We respect your right to make decisions about your own life.

What you discuss with the Live Chat Helpline volunteers during your live chat session is intended to be a private conversation. We delete all transcripts of live chat conversations after 7 days. This means that if you use the live chat service more than once, the volunteer you are speaking to will not be able to see your previous conversation history.

This link gives more advice on how to hide your tracks online. Please note, the information we provide is for guidance only and it may not be possible to completely hide your tracks.

Our volunteers only speak to one person at a time, so when you join the live chat you may be placed in a queue. One of our volunteers will let you know that they have seen that you are waiting.

As our chats can last up to 45 minutes, if the service is very busy it is possible you might not get through. We understand that this might feel difficult or disappointing, and we encourage you to try again the next time we are open.

You can also send us an email via our email support service, try our helpline, or use Rape Crisis England & Wales’ Live Chat, which is open to women and girls aged 16+.

A Live Chat volunteer will end a chat if they believe they are dealing with a prank or abusive user.

At the end of each session, you can choose to give feedback about the service via a short form, if you would like to. Your views are incredibly important to us and help improve our service, as well as promote it and secure future funding. No personal information will be requested, and by completing the short form, you are agreeing to us using your anonymous feedback externally. You do not have to provide any feedback if you do not want to.

If you want to give more detailed feedback on your experience, our feedback form is also available for download . If you wish to make a formal complaint about the Live Chat Helpline, our complaints policy and procedure is available to download here.

Any feedback we get is treated anonymously, whether it is good or bad, and helps us to improve our service. We do sometimes use anonymous comments to help promote and fund the service, so if you don’t want your comments to be used, please tell us.

The Rape Crisis England & Wales (RCEW) Live Chat Helpline offers a text-based service for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence. The Live Chat Helpline operators are there are there to listen and offer you emotional support for up to 45 minutes. You can talk about what happened to you, how you feel, and any difficulties you are facing. To access the service, or find out more information, including opening times, please visit the website.

You can also send us an email via our email support service, or try our helpline.

If you have opened the Live Chat page before the open hours and are waiting for the service to open, then you will need to refresh your page at the time the service opens (10am) in order to see the service is running.

We understand that it can be difficult to contact us if you’re not confident writing in English, and we will support you as best we can over live chat.  

If you would like support from us in language other than English, please email and tell us the language that you would like us to support you in and we will try to arrange this if we can, or suggest another organisation that may be able to help.