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.
Change Ur Life 3. Change Ur Life
Change Ur Life
Established in 2020, Change Ur Life strongly believes that everyone deserves to live a life filled with happiness, contentment and security. Our team have personally worked in this field for several years, supporting a large number of victims and as a result, have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. It is for this reason that we have set up services that support victims of domestic abuse in their own homes and the community, with our vision of expanding services to victims of all crimes. We support everyone over the age of 17 years old, no matter what their gender, race or beliefs are, as we strongly believe that no individual should be subject to suffering in silence, so offer a friendly and non-judgemental approach with the mission to make a difference.
FACES 4. FACES
FACES
FACES provides practical and emotional support to disadvantaged and deprived families who have been victims of crime and have experienced Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), sexual violence and trafficking, as well as one to one support for victims of domestic abuse and their children.
Home Start - Helping Hands 5. 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 6. Luton All Women's Centre
Luton All Women's Centre
The service supports vulnerable women who are experiencing  domestic abuse, or have suffered it in the past, in Luton and Bedfordshire as a whole, as well as supporting women/girls in Luton and Bedfordshire who are affected by (or at risk of) harmful practices – including forced marriage, honour-based violence (HBV) and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Alongside individual casework, beneficiaries can access specialist group support (e.g. around mental health) and a comprehensive package of wrap-around care. To support a preventative/early-intervention agenda, the service includes outreach work with young people in schools/colleges, plus training for professionals in key sectors and is pan Bedfordshire.
Paws Protect 7. Paws Protect
Paws Protect
Domestic violence and pets can make for an unsafe situation, which is why we offer our Paws Protect cat fostering service. Through a network of cat fosterers, the service provides a retreat for pets of those going into a refuge until the owner has a safe place to live and they can be reunited.

All information between the cat owner and foster carer is kept confidential. Our fosterers do not know the identity or whereabouts of the cat owner and vice versa, ensuring complete anonymity.

While it is not possible for the owner to visit their cat while it is being fostered, the Paws Protect team visit the fosterer on a regular basis and provide monthly updates to the owner to give them peace of mind.

Paws Protect covers all the costs of fostering for domestic violence – including cat food, feeding bowls, beds, vaccinations etc so owners know their pet is receiving the best care.
Samaritans Bedford 8. 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 9. 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 10. 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.
Supporting Victims of Crime
National Listings
Barnardo's Barnardo's
Barnardo's
Welcome to Boloh, Barnardo’s COVID-19 helpline and webchat for those 11+

Call us on 0800 1512605 or chat to us online

Are you a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic child, young person, parent or carer, affected by Covid-19? You can speak to us about your worries, problems and stresses during this time, and we can provide emotional support, practical advice and signposting to other organisations who can provide further help. 

If you’re a professional, you can also contact us to discuss how to support a child or young person they are working with.
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.
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.
Stonewall Housing Stonewall Housing
Stonewall Housing
We give advice about different housing related issues to hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people every year. We understand what you, or your friends, might be experiencing. So if you need advice, contact us. You can phone us, or you can come along to one of our drop-in surgeries. Some of the housing issues we’ve helped LGBT+ people with include:

if you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
if your relationship with your family has broken down because of your sexual orientation or gender identity;
if you’ve been victimised or harassed;
if you need to escape from domestic abuse;
if you need advice about a dispute with your landlord;
if you need advice with your housing benefits.
The Coroners' Courts Support Service (CCSS) The Coroners' Courts Support Service (CCSS)
The Coroners' Courts Support Service (CCSS)
The Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS) is
an independent charity founded in 2003. Trained
volunteers offer free, confidential, emotional support
and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and
others attending an Inquest at some of the Coroners’
Courts in England. We can signpost people to other
appropriate organisations and prior to the Inquest
we can give you support and information via our
Telephone Helpline.
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