*** Call 416 597 8808. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays***
The TRCC/MWAR Crisis Line is made possible by a large collective of volunteer peer crisis line counsellors who undergo more than 36 hours of training. Crisis Line counsellors come from all walks of life, and represent the population of Toronto we serve.
A trained and experienced peer counsellor is available to speak with any and all survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and their supporters, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The TRCC/MWAR is a survivor-centered, survivor-led organization. We work from an anti-oppression, anti-racist, intersectional feminist framework. Our counsellors are here to listen to you, hold space, and offer emotional support.
How can I access the Crisis Line?
- Find a private space to call from, if you can.
- Call 416 597 8808.
- An operator will answer your call and say “Toronto Rape Crisis Centre Answering Service”. They are not a member of our collective, or a counsellor. Operators are there only to answer your call, take your information, and relay it to the counsellor.
- The operator will ask for your name and phone number to connect you with the counsellor. You can give your real name, a nickname, or not give your name at all. You can say you want to remain anonymous.
- If you do not have a phone number where we can give you a call back, or cannot give the answering service your phone number for safety reasons, the operator may attempt to connect you with the counsellor directly. Unfortunately we cannot connect calls directly overnight (between 12am – 8am) everyday.
- The operator will confirm your phone number and phone. They will reach the counsellor and advise them you are waiting to hear from them.
- Our peer support counsellor on shift will give you a call once they finish with previous calls.
The short answer is YES. Here’s how we ensure this:
- We will never ask you for any identifying information (no asking for your legal name, age, address, or anything like that!). We do not keep records of our calls. You can share or not share to your comfort level. A counsellor will never pressure you to share any information with us that you do not want to share. We do not need to know the facts of your experience, it is enough to talk about your thoughts and feelings. It is okay to keep things non-specific.
- Your conversation is between you and your peer counsellor. Calls are private and confidential. Counsellors answer calls from their own remote secure locations, behind closed doors, and not within earshot of anyone else. Counsellors destroy the phone number they used to reach you after the call.
What can I expect from the Crisis Line?
- We have a high volume of calls on the line. Normally, Crisis Line calls have an intended limit of about 20 minutes. You can decide to end the call before that. A lot happens in 20 minutes! We find this is usually enough time to listen and support.
- The content of the call is up to you! You can talk about anything to do with your experience as a survivor, or anything that is top of mind for you even if it seems unrelated. You will never be expected to justify why you are calling your line, or to explain how your call is related to an experience of violence.
- ANY and ALL survivors from all walks of life are welcome to call our Crisis Line.
- Crisis Line calls are returned on a first come, first served basis. There may be a wait before you receive a call from the counsellor. We make every effort to respond to calls in a timely manner. The counsellor will return your call when it is your turn in line.
Will my information be shared or reported?
Because this is a completely anonymous service (meaning we have no idea who you are) we will not have information about you to make a report. We do not know your real name, location, or any other identifying information.
Even to support you with finding resources in your community, we do not need to know your exact location. Therefore, if you disclose any sensitive information about an assault, your survivorship, or suicide ideation, we cannot involve external agencies. You get to decide what identifying information you share with us.
As a survivor-led organization, we believe that autonomy in decision-making is very important in healing from violence. We will not make decisions for you. If you decide to make a report, we can support you with your decision and connect you with a staff member.
If you are dealing with suicide ideation or self-harm, we are here to support your survivorship. Peer counsellors will listen to you and hold space for this experience. If you are having active suicide ideation, and are looking for someone to stop you, please reach out to 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Respectful Engagement on the Crisis Line
The TRCC/MWAR operates from an anti-oppression, anti-racist, intersectional feminist peer support framework. Volunteer peer counsellors and staff all abide by these values of the TRCC/MWAR community.
We do not tolerate pranks or harassing behaviour. If you engage in threatening and violent speech, including sexually abusive statements, racist statements, or any kind of discriminatory actions that violate our volunteer counsellors’ rights and safety, we will end the call. We will explain to you the respect we expect to be able to provide you with support. We will let you know when we are ending a call because you are not adhering to our community values.
We know that some survivors have also perpetrated sexual violence or abuse. We can support you around your survivorship, but providing support about your experience perpetrating violence as an adult is not within our mandate. As a survivor-led organization, it is up to our peer counsellors to decline to support you if you are talking about perpetrating violence.
If you have questions, concerns, or would like to give us your feedback you are very welcome! Please call 416 597 1171 ext. 305 and leave a message. You can also check out our Feedback & Suggestions page for more information.