In partnership with Hello Cass, Ruah is excited to have launched a new service that provides an alternative way to reach out, to start a conversation and to seek support for people experiencing violence or abuse, their support network and people concerned about their own behaviour.
Developed specifically to provide discreet, localised and accessible information Hello Cass is an anonymous SMS and web-based chatbot.
Hello Cass has been designed in consultation with a range of community health and prevention of violence against women organisations to ensure the content is accurate, safe, culturally appropriate, and reflects the diversity of Australian women and their experiences.
When users text the Hello Cass number (0417 398 744) or message the web chat widget, they start chatting with Cass, a friendly chatbot who helps them find information on local counselling services, legal information, housing support, financial aid, and personal wellbeing.
Hello Cass founder Emma Koster said she is thrilled to have been able to extend the service into WA.
“Hello Cass has been operating in Victoria since 2019,” said Emma. “It was built understanding that people affected by family and sexual violence can struggle to seek help due to fear, shame, feeling as though they won’t be believed, or simply not knowing where to start.
“Making it easier for people to access support – and ensuring that as best we can, they always feel believed and trusted is what drives this work.”
The technology behind Hello Cass uses a combination of innovative artificial intelligence (AI) features, and reliable, accessible SMS infrastructure to provide information and support around domestic violence, sexual assault, emotional, psychological and financial abuse in a form that can be easily accessed via text message.
The Hello Cass service is offered completely free of charge, except for the cost of the text messages, for anyone who needs to chat about experiencing or being affected by family and sexual abuse. It is completely anonymous, and no personal data is collected.
A grant from Lotterywest has enabled Ruah to partner with Hello Cass to deliver the service in Western Australia.
People at immediate risk should call Police 000 immediately or contact:
- 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – National sexual assault and domestic violence helpline
- 1800 007 339 – WA Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline