SBS Helpline Live! Official Launch

by | Oct 5, 2020 | News | 0 comments

“I would think to myself: If I have to move out from the house, where would I go?”

Today, we are proud to officially launch our new SBS Helpline Live service to provide you with the help and support you need as quickly as possible. We understand that for many users, making a phone call isn’t always the easiest or the best option – you can now contact our live helpline via our website and get support directly on your screen.

Below are testimonies of SBS survivors when they first came to SBS for help having faced gender-based violence. Now they are in safe accommodation, being provided financial support from the SBS ‘No Recourse Fund’, and receiving legal advice. We are working with them to secure housing so they can feel settled, safe, secure and empowered in their lives.

“During the pandemic I realised what isolating yourself from a situation is. I was a victim of domestic violence I was beaten in the head on several occasions through no fault of my own. I sat in isolation the full three months reflecting on my behaviour and a good outlook. I had no contact with my children family and friends. Learning to live with limited provisions and resources as I’m currently unemployed is always a challenge…but even more so now”

“I would think to myself: If I have to move out from the house, where would I go? I had no clue about social organisations in the UK, as I came from abroad. I cannot return to India. If I go back to India I will suffer lots of mental abuse from my mother and brother. My parents are separated and older now, but they live in the same house. I had a disturbed family life – I raised my younger sister from the age of three and I left for Dubai when I could. I supported my sister throughout my life. I’d suffered a lot of domestic abuse even before the lockdown but after the lockdown, things went completely out of hand and became impossible. That’s when I had to leave. But I had no family or friends in the UK.”

Like them, if you are feeling confused, troubled, fearing for your safety or your children, or simply worried that something is not quite right in your marriage, family or relationship, help is available now!

We understand that telephone is not always the safest, most convenient way to reach out to us. We also appreciate that our lines have been extremely busy since lockdown. If you are a new to our service and want to speak to us in confidence, in a safe, judgment-free space, you can now use our live web chat service, conveniently located on our website, ( bottom right corner).

You will be able to speak to one of our fully trained referral advisors by clicking on the ‘Chat now’ button. First, we will ask you a few questions to ensure we have all the information we need to provide you with the best support. This part of this process is managed by the automated bot, you will then be in the queue to speak to an advisor.

One of our referral advisors will explore your options depending on your circumstances with you and if you are at risk they will help you and your children stay safe and should you choose to be supported by us further, they will match you with the next available helpline advisor over the phone or arrange a telephone appointment with them, when it is safe for you to talk to us.

We will never judge anything you say to us and anything you choose to share will remain strictly confidential. . Most importantly- we will always listen and believe you!


It’s an online communication tool that allows you to chat to SBS in real time.

Online chats take place inside a chat box within your internet browser. You don’t need to install anything or sign up to any service.


First, the Automated Bot will take your details and will ask you some basic questions to find out how SBS can best help you.

Depending on the nature of your query, i.e. if it is a non client related query, the Automated Bot may point you to the relevant page or section of our website for further information.

You’ll then be put through to a real person – a referral advisor – who will answer your queries and point you in the right direction.

The referral advisor will help you find the answer to your questions, explain how SBS can support you and your children to stay safe, or make at telephone  appointment for you to speak to an advocate.


With live chat, you don’t have to wait for the phone lines to get free – you can access our helpline directly.

If you’re not comfortable speaking directly on the phone, for whatever reason, you can still have a live interaction with a fully trained referral advisor by using live chat.

SBS Helpline Live is convenient and easy to use – and it’s confidential.

Please note, at times demand can be high so there may be a wait time, please do leave your contact details when requested, that will enable us to get in touch with you as soon as a referral advisor becomes free. 

Remember that if you are in a high risk, emergency situation, you should always call 999.


If you prefer to speak to an advisor on the phone, our phone lines continue to operate as normal, please do not hesitate to call us on 0208 671 9595.

You are free to contact us via Live Chat anytime between 10.30AM and 3.30PM [closed for lunch 12.30pm to 1.30pm], should you contact us outside of business hours, the service will automatically direct you to leave your details, so we can contact you when we return.

In a high risk, emergency situation, always call 999.

If all the chat lines are busy, please be patient and we will be with you shortly. Alternately, please contact us by phone on 0208 571 9595.

The Live Chat service provides support, initial advice, and makes referrals the SBS helpline advisors and advocates or signposts to other appropriate services, depending on the location and wishes of the user. Please note that we cannot offer counselling, legal advice or immigration advice through Live Chat.

We can only respond to genuine inquiries for help and support. Our referral advisors will immediately end the chat if they are subjected to abuse or feel that their safety is threatened.


SBS Helpline Live is an instant messaging service implemented by SBS to support members of the public. SBS Helpline Live is provided on an as-is and as-available basis. SBS disclaims all responsibility and liability for the availability, timeliness, security or reliability of SBS Helpline Live or accuracy of responses. SBS may modify, suspend or discontinue SBS Helpline Live with or without notice at any time and without any liability to anyone. Use of SBS Helpline Live does not trigger any sort of legal relationship. Content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute and shall not be relied on as professional advice.

  1. Providing Your Information
    During your chat session, you will be asked to provide us with some basic information such as your name, contact details, and information about your situation. Please do not share any personal information you do not wish to disclose through Live Chat. SBS is committed to your privacy and agrees to use your information for internal use only for the purpose of answering your question and providing you with additional support services, should you so wish. Your information will only be disclosed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, lawful subpoena or court order. SBS may keep transcripts of your Live Chat session for quality assurance and training purposes. SBS does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information and advice provided via the service and you hereby release SBS and the Live Chat referral advisor from any such liability.
  2. Automatically Collected Statistics
    When you visit our website, we automatically gather information about your visit, including information about your browser version and IP address. This information identifies you as a unique visitor to our web services and does not provide us any other personal information about you. This information allows us to report on the traffic on our webpage so we can understand the impact of our work and improve your future online experience with us. This information is viewed and reported aggregately. We may temporarily store a cookie on your computer to allow us to send chat messages, web pages and files to you. Any such cookies will dissolve at the end of the chat session.
  3. Chat Session Agreement
    With any online service, there is some level of risk when communicating over the Internet. By reading and agreeing to this legal disclaimer and engaging in one of our Live Chat sessions, you give permission to SBS to provide you some assistance today and to use the information you provide to us for additional support if you so wish. Furthermore, you understand that while SBS will undertake efforts to protect your information, it is not responsible for any information you may provide during the chat session or that it is legally required to disclose.

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