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

Consent

What separates sex, or a gesture of affection, from sexual assault? It's a matter of consent. That is, both people agreeing to what's happening by choice, and having the freedom and ability to make that choice. Rape can also happen within marriage and relationships. If your partner has forced you into having sex with them, made you do sexual things you did not want to, or someone has touched you inappropriately without you wanting to, this is rape or a sexual assault.

How Can We Help

Signpost Hub offers a confidential service where we can support you emotionally or practically in order to help you cope and recover from the impact the crime has left on you. You do not need to have reported the crime to the Police in order for us to support you, and there is no time frame for when the incident(s) happened.

We will ensure you feel safe, be a point of contact and an external, non-judgmental, kind person who will listen, believe, guide and support you on your road to getting back to feeling you again. We support both men and women who have experienced rape or sexual assault, and will support your decisions on whether you decide to report to the police or not. If we feel you require more professional and specialised support, we may, with your consent make a referral for an (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) ISVA. An ISVA tailors specialised support to the individual needs of the victim or survivor, provides emotional and practical support to meet those needs, act as a single point of contact and will provide support before, during and after a court case.

However you are feeling, please try to remember that this is not your fault, you are not alone, and you are not to blame.
Signpost Hub is a confidential service where we can support you emotionally or practically in order to help you cope and recover from the impact the crime has left on you. You do not need to have reported the crime to the Police in order for us to support you, and there is no time frame from how long ago the incident(s) happened. We will ensure you feel safe, be a point of contact and an external, non-judgmental, and kind person who will listen, believe, guide and support you on your road to getting back to feeling you again. We support Male and Female’s who have experienced Rape or Sexual Assault, and will support your decisions on whether you decide to report to the police or not.


In the immediate time after experiencing a crime of this nature:

  • Try to be somewhere that feels safe.

  • You might be in shock, so try to keep warm.

  • See if a friend or someone you trust can be with you.

  • Talk to someone about what has happened. If you don’t feel like talking to a friend or family member yet, contact a local support service.


Court Case Types 

  • Summary only offences can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court and cannot usually be dealt with in the Crown Court.

  • Either-way offences can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. If the Court think that the case could be heard in the Magistrates’ Court, the Offender will be offered the choice of having the case dealt with in that court or by a judge and jury at the Crown Court.

  • Indictable Only offences are cases that can only be dealt with at the Crown Court.


Legislation; Sexual Offences Act 2003. (as of 4th May 2018)

RAPE

Section (1)
A person (A) commits an offence if;
he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, B does not consent to the penetration, and if A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
 
Section (2)
Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

Section (3)
Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.

Section (4)
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

 
ASSAULT BY PENETRATION

Section (1) A person (A) commits an offence if;
he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of his body or anything else, the penetration is sexual, B does not consent to the penetration, and if A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
 
Section (2)
Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
 
Section (3)
Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
 
Section (4)
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.
 

SEXUAL ASSAULT
 
Section (1) A person (A) commits an offence if;
he intentionally touches another person (B), the touching is sexual,
B does not consent to the touching, and if A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
 
Section (2)
Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
 
Section (3)
Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
 
Section (4)
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable;
on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;
on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.



Local Specialised Support Services

Signpost Hub
The Signpost Hub provides advice and support for victims of crime across Bedfordshire. Providing emotional and practical support to help those impacted by crime to cope and recover. Services are free of charge and confidential. Call the support line on 0800 0282 887.
 
The Emerald Centre
Sexual Assault Referral Clinic where you can go after the incident has happened. They also provide a holistic service for those who have been Raped or Sexually Assaulted Call 01234 897052 or out of hours call 0330 2230099.
 
The Hope Program
A Bedfordshire-based service helping people to cope and recover from the aftermath and trauma caused by rape and sexual violence. Call 0300 365 1045.
 

Local Listings
Change Ur Life 1. 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.
Paws Protect 2. 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 3. 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 4. 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.
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.
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.
Rights of Women Rights of Women
Rights of Women
This organisation provides women with the legal advice and information they need to understand using the law and their legal rights. The organisation also works towards improving the law for women and increasing women’s access to justice.
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 Hope Programme The Hope Programme
The Hope Programme
The Hope Programme offers a telephone helpline, emotional support and counselling to women and girls, men and boys, over 10 years old who have suffered rape and sexual violence.
The National Association for People Abused at Childhood The National Association for People Abused at Childhood
The National Association for People Abused at Childhood
The National Association for People Abused at Childhood, or NAPAC, provides a range of services which offer direct support to adults dealing with a history of childhood 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