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

Finding the right support
A forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the consent of one or both parties and where consent is obtained under duress (ie you have been made to marry the person involved). This is markedly different from an arranged marriage in which the individuals retain free will and have the choice to accept the arrangement. A forced marriage is illegal. In forced marriage, perpetrators use physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse to pressurise people to marry against their will. Forced marriage is a form of domestic abuse, primarily against women, although not exclusively, and most cases involve young girls aged between 13 and 30.

What should I do?
From June 2014, forcing someone to marry became a criminal offence under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. This crime remains largely under-reported, however, as many victims are too frightened to come forward for fear of the repercussions on their families. If you are being forced to marry against your will or suspect someone else is at risk , advisors are available to provide you with support and protection. Forced marriage is a serious offence and reports will be thoroughly investigated.

How can I report forced marriage?
You can report an incident of forced marriage by contacting Bedfordshire Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

What is a Forced Marriage Protection Order?
A forced marriage protection order can help if you are:-
- Being forced into marriage
- Already in a forced marriage
A forced marriage protection order is unique to each case and contains legally binding conditions and directions that change the behaviour of a person or persons trying to force someone into marriage.
To apply for an order, visit the
Government’s website.

Where can I get help?
Have a look at the listings below or in our directory.

Local Listings
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
Change Ur Life 2. 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.
Luton All Women's Centre 3. 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 4. 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.
Supporting Victims of Crime
National Listings
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.
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.
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.
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