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
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:
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.
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:
- Safety planning during COVID-19 (Sanctuary for Families)
- How to use mindfulness to cope with trauma (Stop Domestic Violence)
- How to practice being mindful (verywellmind)
- Domestic Abusers Can Control Your Devices. Here’s How to Fight Back (New York Times)
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information and resources.
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
We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather and work is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe people.