Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
Support for Crime Victims in Bedfordshire
  Call Services for Bedfordshire on 0800 0282 887

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is a crime in which the abuser seeks power and control over their victim and can affect women, men and children. Although Domestic Abuse is often physical, it does not have to be; it can also be psychological, sexual, emotional or even financial.

Domestic Abuse can affect anyone, regardless of race, age, social background, gender, religion or sexuality.  It can happen in short or long-term relationships, with ex-partners or family members.  It is not acceptable in any circumstance.

Victims of Domestic Abuse can feel very isolated, and incidents of abuse often go unreported because the victim may feel trapped or alone.

Not sure if you are a victim of Domestic Abuse?

We recognise that every relationship is unique and that it can be difficult to find if your relationship is abusive or not, however, if you feel there is a problem with yours or another’s relationship, you can find out more information by clicking here
 
Where can I get help or further information?

For support and help, call the Signpost Hub on 0800 0282 887 for free local support Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm. Or 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline (run by Refuge and Women’s Aid) on 0808 2000 247

In a non-emergency, call Bedfordshire Police on 101.

In an emergency dial 999.

If you do not feel confident speaking to the police, like the Signpost Hub there are lots of agencies that can support you, independent of the police.  If you’re worried about taking the step of reporting Domestic Abuse, need advice or even just someone to talk to, a detailed list of support organizations specializing in Domestic Abuse in your area can be found on the ‘Who Can Help?’ page of this website.

The Survivor’s Handbook

The Hideout is a website created by Women’s Aid to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action if it's happening to them.
 

Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is not a crime that is limited to women, 1 in 6 men are victims also. As well as the Signpost Hub being available for support there is Men’s Advice Line:
Tel: 0808 801 0327
Website: http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/


How can I protect myself?

If you are experiencing Domestic Abuse, the most important thing to do is to tell someone you trust about what is happening.  This could be your teacher, work colleague, GP, a neighbour or close friend, or any other trusted professional.  Speaking to someone about what you are going through can help you to feel less alone and can support you in understanding your options.

If you are unsure about whether you are experiencing Domestic Abuse or not, go with your instincts; if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  You may feel alone and that no-one can help you, but many people experience abuse and there are people who can help.  It is important to remember that it is not your fault and that there is support available.
Never be afraid to ask for help and always remember to dial 999 in an emergency.


Here is some practical advice to help you:

  • How to leave home safely:

  • Have a small bag packed with spare clothes, keys, phone numbers and money in case you have to leave quickly. If you're afraid that it will be found, leave it at work or with a friend

  • Talk to your children beforehand about the possibility of leaving in an emergency if it's appropriate

  • You may want to agree a code word or a plan with them

  • Make sure you take your children with you when you leave

  • Only leave when it is safe to do so

  • If you later discover that you have left something behind, you can arrange to collect it with a police officer - don't return by yourself

  • Tell somebody you trust that you are leaving

  • Take some identification with you that might help others protect you from the abuser, such as a recent photograph.
    How to keep safe during a violent incident:

  • If you are able to, dial 999 in an emergency. Try to leave the phone off the hook so that the operator can still hear you

  • If you can't ring 999, telephone or text a friend, relative or neighbour with a pre-arranged code word indicating that you need help so that they can call the police for you

  • Plan escape routes before you need to use them

  • If you have been injured and you have not been able to call the police, go to see your doctor or attend hospital as soon as possible.
    Keeping safe if you decide to stay:

  • Make sure you seek help from support agencies where you live

  • Let the support agencies know how they can contact you e.g. at work or at a friend's address

  • Make sure you remove all traces of contact with support agencies and delete your computer history if you have been on their website

  • Dispose of phone records

  • Use the internet in your local library or internet café to avoid leaving a trace

  • Make sure you receive medical help for any injuries ensuring that they are recorded and photographed. These may be used at a later date to support court cases or re-housing applications. 

    Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare's Law)

    Under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare's Law, anyone can find out about a partner's history of domestic violence from the police. The police will give you information if it's necessary to protect you. The police can also pro-actively warn you about an individual if they think you are at risk of domestic violence.
     

 

 
Local Listings
ACCM (UK) 1. ACCM (UK)
ACCM (UK)
ACCM is a Bedfordshire-based charity working to support victims of illegal harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and honour-based abuse among Black, Asian, minority ethnic and other disadvantaged communities
Bedford Women’s Centre 2. Bedford Women’s Centre
Bedford Women’s Centre
Bedford Women’s Centre aim is to support women in the community to improve the quality of life for them and their families. They offer one to one support and mentoring, weekly workshops, training courses (both accredited and non-accredited) and support groups for women to promote healthy relationships and eradicate Domestic Abuse. The centre is run by Family Groups Bedford, which is a registered charity who have provided services to the local community since 1982.
Home Start - Helping Hands 4. Home Start - Helping Hands
Home Start - Helping Hands
Home-Start Central Bedfordshire provides support services to families with young children in Central Bedfordshire and Luton. Home-Start is one of the leading family support charities in the UK. Since 1984 the charity has been helping local young children and their families struggling to cope with disabilities and additional needs, domestic violence and abuse, poverty, financial issues and unsafe environments and mental ill health.
Luton All Women's Centre 5. Luton All Women's Centre
Luton All Women's Centre
The Domestic Abuse Service supports vulnerable women who are experiencing  domestic abuse, or have suffered it in the past, in Luton and Bedfordshire as a whole. Alongside individual casework, you can access specialist support groups and receive bespoke packages of wraparound care.
Samaritans Bedford 6. Samaritans Bedford
Samaritans Bedford
Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. They are there for people at any time of day or night. People can talk for as long as they like, as many times as they like. They don't rush, interrupt or push anyone out of the door and let people lead the conversation at their own pace. There's no waiting lists, and no assessments. Their free phone number is 116 123.

 

Samaritans Luton 7. Samaritans Luton
Samaritans Luton
Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. They are there for people at any time of day or night. People can talk for as long as they like, as many times as they like. They don't rush, interrupt or push anyone out of the door and let people lead the conversation at their own pace. There's no waiting lists, and no assessments. Their free phone number is 116 123.
Stepping Stones 8. Stepping Stones
Stepping Stones
Stepping Stones support victims of domestic abuse and other trauma, offering one to one, specialist group-based support and counselling. It aims to enable, support and inspire women and their children to live safer, happier lives and reach their full potential in life.
Women's Aid Luton 9. Women's Aid Luton
Women's Aid Luton
Women’s Aid in Luton is a voluntary organisation supporting women and children who have become victims of domestic abuse. They offer tailored support and access to refuge accommodation.
Supporting Victims of Crime
National Listings
ChildLine ChildLine
ChildLine
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19. The service provides support and guidance for children and young adults, on a wide range of topics including FGM.
CHUMS CHUMS
CHUMS
CHUMS Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Service for Children and Young People provides therapeutic support in a variety of ways.  CHUMS has developed a unique service delivery model to ensure that children and young people are able to access a service that supports their individual needs. 
Crimestoppers Crimestoppers
Crimestoppers
Crimestoppers is an independent charity helping police locate criminals and solve crimes through anonymous reporting. The site also provides crime prevention advice for a number of crimes.
ManKind Initiative ManKind Initiative
ManKind Initiative
This confidential helpline is available for all men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by their current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner). The site provides emotional support and practical information to victims, family and friends.
Refuge Refuge
Refuge
Refuge offers a range of services including refuge, outreach and resettlement support to women and children who have experienced domestic violence, stalking, honour-based violence, trafficking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence The National Centre for Domestic Violence
The National Centre for Domestic Violence
The National Centre for Domestic Violence was established to help survivors of domestic violence obtain protection against an abuser, as well as offering services to the police, probation service, domestic abuse agency workers, the legal profession and judiciary. The organisation provides free, fast and effective legal support to survivors of domestic abuse.
There are no national support services for this in our directory

If you are unsure whether you have been a victim of crime, please talk to one of our advisors on 0800 0282 887