Victim Support launches first online 'live chat' service in Kent
Independent charity Victim Support has launched a new online ‘live chat’ service for victims of crime in Kent who may find it difficult to access support over the phone or in person.
This new service, which runs in addition to the services currently offered by the charity, is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner of Kent Matthew Scott.
The text-based live chat service offers a safe online space for people to talk openly about their experience of crime, providing anonymity and a quick response.
Live chat users will be able to have a real-time conversation with trained support workers via the website and will receive emotional support and practical help tailored to their needs.
The service is open to anyone who has been affected by crime and lives in Kent, whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.
David Naylor, Contract Manager for Victim Support in Kent, said:
Mr Scott said:
'Our new Live Chat service gives victims of crime another way of contacting us in a manner which they feel most comfortable. Being able to use a smart phone, tablet or computer to reach us will break down a barrier that may have stopped people taking the first step to accessing our service in the past.'
Mr Naylor continued:
'As the PCC I’m responsible for providing support services for all victims of crime and abuse in Kent. It is paramount that victims receive swift and effective help and support, but sometimes it may not be possible or convenient for a victim to seek that help and support with a phone call. This is particularly true of vulnerable victims and those experiencing coercive or controlling abuse.
'What they need is a fast, convenient and discrete way to seek help and so I’m delighted that victims in Kent can now access help from Victim Support’s live chat service. Victims who choose to access help this way will still be getting a quality service from trained support workers based out of Compass House in Ashford, and I hope many who have been unable to access help are now more able to do so.'
Live chat can be accessed via Victim Support’s website. The service operates Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
'As well as live chat, you can also contact us through our free 24/7 Supportline on 0808 16 89 111 or completing an online contact form on our website.'