Unsafe at Home Ottawa is a secure text and online chat service for women and members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Ottawa and Lanark County who may be living through increased violence and abuse at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our personnel provides emotional support, safety plans, resources and referrals using encrypted technology so conversations are confidential and secure.

We can help you with:

  • Talking about how you’re feeling
  • Creating a safety plan to reduce your risk of harm
  • Getting you the services you need for support
  • Coping with your situation

You are not alone.
You are loved.
We’re here to help.

Connect with us

Our text and online chat service is available every day (except Wednesdays) from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Wednesdays. Your conversations with our personnel are confidential and secure.

How it works

You can chat online with us or text us. We’re here for you. Our trained personnel will give you support, information, resources and safety planning ideas. There are two ways to reach us:

This is the safest way to talk to us. You’ll need a device with wifi or an internet connection to use the chat service.

Click the chat online now button if you need us. A chat window will open, and we’ll connect you to our trained personnel.

You can end the conversation at any time. Once it’s done, your chat history will be erased.

Text us if you need support. We’ll connect you to our trained personnel.

You don’t need a data plan, internet connection or an app to use Unsafe at Home Ottawa on your cell phone.

For your safety, be sure to delete your text history once you’re done texting with us.

When you connect with us, the first few messages you receive from us will be automated. These will give you more information about the service and our confidentiality policy.

What you should know

Unsafe at Home Ottawa is designed to keep you safe. However, nothing is 100% secure. When you chat online with us or text us, please make sure you’re using a device or computer that’s safe.

Some tips to stay safe online:

If you think someone else could have installed spyware onto the device you’re using, you may not want to use this service.

Stay safe and cope

For many, this challenging period of physical distancing means a rise in intimate partner or family violence and domestic abuse. This might mean verbal abuse, emotional abuse, or physical or sexual violence. So how can you stay safe at home or cope with your situation?

Here are some helpful resources:

Times like this call for us to take care of each other.
We’re here for you.
Reach out if you need support.

COVID-19 services

Do you feel alone and unsafe during this period of physical distancing?
Are you dealing with physical, emotional, sexual, or other kinds of abuse at home?

Reach out for help now.

Learn about where you can access support during the pandemic, including telephone support and walk-in services in:

If you’re in immediate danger, please call 911.

Who we are

Unsafe at Home Ottawa launched in April 2020 to offer those living with abuse or violence during the COVID-19 pandemic a safe space to reach out for help. This community-based initiative is staffed by experienced, bilingual personnel. We are committed to treating women and members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities with compassion and respect for their dignity, privacy and diversity at all times.

Our Partners:

  • Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
  • Interval House of Ottawa
  • Ottawa Victim Services
  • Western Ottawa Resource Centre
  • Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women
  • Crime Prevention Ottawa
  • Lanark Country Victim Services
  • Kind Space for offering support for LGBTQ2S+ communities
  • Immigrant Women Services Ottawa for providing translation services in 70 different languages.

Special thanks to:

  • Ottawa Police Service and all partners for promoting Unsafe at Home Ottawa

If your organization wants to launch a similar safe text+chat in your community, please email info@octevaw-cocvff.ca for information and resources.

United Way Eastern Ontario Logo
Crime Prevention Ottawa Logo
Interval House of Ottawa Logo
Kind Space Logo
Ottawa Vicitm Services
Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre Logo
Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre Logo
Victim Services Lanark County
Immigrant Women Services Ottawa Logo

Our Donors

The Unsafe at Home Ottawa project has been running since April 14th 2020 and has since supported many survivors of violence against women and gender-based violence. The work we do would not be possible without the generous contributions of our donors. We would like to acknowledge the following:

  • United Way East Ontario
  • City of Ottawa
  • Ottawa Community Foundation
  • Donner Canadian Foundation
  • Crime Prevention Ottawa
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • and other generous donors
United Way Eastern Ontario Logo
City of Ottawa Logo
Ottawa Community Foundation Logo
Donner Canadian Foundation Logo
Crime Prevention Ottawa Logo
Canadian Women's Foundation

Support Us

We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather and work is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe people.