Chat for Help Terms of Service
By using the text and/or chat feature, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service:
- All communications and services are free, and will be held confidential unless you disclose child abuse/neglect, or if you are feeling homicidal or suicidal. We are mandated reporters under Pennsylvania law and must report this information.
- Please do not send images, pictures, screen shots, or any other attachment for safety. If it is sent, the Advocate will immediately delete it.
- Please note that not all of the services provided by the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WC&S) can be conducted via text and/or web chat services. You may be asked to call the 24-hour hotline so we can fully meet your needs.
- Abuse is never your fault. When a survivor reaches out for help, the abuser often sees this as a loss of power and control and may increase the level of violence. For this reason, it is unsafe to communicate with WC&S while an abuser is present.
- If you are using the chat feature and need a quick escape, click on the “Leave Site” button on the WC&S website to be navigated to another web page.
- Deleting your web history is recommended. There are ‘how to’ videos available on the internet.
- Deleting text messages with WC&S is recommended. You will need to follow the instructions related to your specific phone to delete messages. If you have access to a cloud service, consider deleting the information from there too.
- If you want to store the Hotline or texting phone number, save it under a name other than WC&S. Choose something inconspicuous.
- If you think your phone is being monitored or tracked, contact your phone service provider.
- Use an incognito/private browser window when you chat so your data is not stored. There are ‘how to’ videos available on the internet.
Who should use the text and chat feature?
Anyone who is in need of support regarding IPV (Intimate Partner Violence).
When are the text and chat services available?
These services are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Are text and chat services secure and confidential?
There are safety risks by using an internet based system. The confidentiality and security of chats are secured through the chat software provider. This is standard procedure and ensures only the intended recipients can access them. All communication is confidential unless you disclose child abuse or neglect, sucidial intent, or homicidal intent. All advocates are mandated reporters under Pennsylvania law and will break the client’s confidentiality to report this information.
If I leave the conversation and then come back, will I be able to talk to the same person?
You may not get the same Advocate each time you contact WC&S; however, all Advocates receive the same training on best supportive, confidential practices. WC&S does not save text or web chat history for safety reasons.
Are the chat and text services available in all languages?
All text/chat conversations will be provided in English. Please call 24-hour Hotline (412) 687-8005 to have support provided in other languages.
What if I am having trouble opening the chat box?
Try disabling your pop-up blocker, and enable the Java Script. You can also make sure your browser is up-to-date by going to whatismybrowser.com.
What if I sent a chat or text and no one has responded to me?
It is possible you will be placed in a queue if all Advocates are busy responding to other clients. We will respond to you in the order of the request. Sometimes technology errors also occur unexpectedly and cause a delay. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you wish to talk to an Advocate, please call our 24-hour hotline at 412-687-8005.