Webchat support service

DRCC Webchat is a free and confidential online support service for adults who have been raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or sexually abused at any time in their lives. It is open to people from all over Ireland.

This new service allows you to chat online, one to one, with a DRCC support worker.  

They can help you to access:

  • Confidential support from a trained support specialist
  • Resources that can help you towards healing and recovery
  • Information about a range of issues, including longer term supports and referral.

The DRCC webchat is open Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm (excluding Bank Holidays). It is also open Tuesday ahd Wednesday 0:00 - 3:00. These hours may change, so please check back again for updates. Outside of these times, you can talk to one of our support workers on the freephone National Helpline 1800 77 8888, which is open 24/7 all year round for confidential support & information.

How to use DRCC webchat support

The DRCC webchat support service works like other instant messaging and online chat systems. It has very strong privacy provisions built in to ensure your chat is confidential and secure. This service is totally free, anonymous and confidential—we do not seek information that would identify you. 

  • You can access the webchat by clicking on the chat widget on the bottom right corner of your screen and typing the name you wish to use. 
  • You can use your own name if you wish, or an assumed name if that makes you more comfortable - you decide what you feel able to share.
  • Please make sure you are in a safe place to chat and using a phone, tablet or computer with a secure internet connection (using a public wireless network may not be secure, for example).
  • Note: Sometimes all our support staff are busy and you may have to wait before starting a chat - try again in a little while.

DRCC’s webchat service is intended for adults over the age of 18 but we will help and direct younger callers as far possible. Note there are specialised children/youth services available if you are under 18: ChildlineSpunOut, Jigsaw, BelongTo (for LGBTI young people).

Please note that we have a duty to report any child protection concerns to appropriate authorities, as per the Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.

DRCC webchat - Tips

Not sure about how to use the webchat?  Webchat is like any online messaging app, such as Whatsapp or Messenger, but as you are using a live helpline support service there are some differences. We have put together some tips below.

  • Take your time and remember that it can take longer to type than speak. Wait for a response to whatever you have already typed before adding more.
  • If you use abbreviations (shortened words or phrases), emojis, gifs or slang to express yourself, the support worker may not understand what you mean. Therefore we advise you to use plain language to explain what you want to say.
  • Never send personal information via DRCC webchat. We may ask you which county/area you live in, which will enable us to direct you to the right local services.
  • We cannot provide medical advice – if you are injured or need medical attention, please call 999.
  • You can always call the National Helpline 1800 77 8888 if the chat format doesn’t work for you.

DRCC webchat - House Rules

We want to provide support to people in a way that is safe and respectful to both you and to our support workers. Please note the following ‘house rules’ for people using the DRCC webchat support service.

  • Do not use obscene or offensive language.
  • Do not link to offensive or sexually explicit sites.
  • Do not advertise or promote services.
  • Do not pretend to be someone else.
  • Do not disclose any identifiable information about yourself or others, including perpetrators.

You will be asked to stop if your language is extreme and unacceptable. If this behaviour continues, the support worker may choose to end the chat.

If a support worker feels they are dealing with a nuisance or obscene caller, they have the right to terminate the chat.

Feedback & complaints

Check out our feedback page for information on how to contact us relating to your expererience with the webchat facility. You can also read our confidentiality policy