Abuse and violence
Abuse and violence
Domestic and sexual, abuse and violence is not acceptable. If you or someone you know is a victim, report it and get help.
Even during lockdown, if you are in danger in your home, please leave and seek help. Call 999 in an emergency.
If you need urgent police help through the 999 service but cannot speak
Call 999, you will be connected to a phone operator who will ask which service you need.
On a mobile:
- if you can’t speak but the operator hears something suspicious, they’ll connect you to a police call handler
- if you can make some noise, whispering for example, the operator will connect you to the police
- if you can’t speak, and the operator can ’t tell what service you need, they’ll transfer you to the Silent Solution system. This runs a 20 second automated message, and that will ask you to press 55, to be put through to the police
On a landline phone:
- if you cannot speak and the operator can hear only background noise, they’ll connect your call to the police
Councillor Godwin explains how you can seek help
Abuse and violence can be psychological, physical, financial or emotional. It can include:
- domestic abuse
- domestic violence
- control, for example, not being allowed to go where you want, when you want
- coercion, for example, being forced to do things you don’t want to do
- female genital mutilation (FGM)
- forced marriage
- human trafficking and modern slavery
- sex work or prostitution
- sexual violence
- sexual harassment
It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, race, background, disability, sexuality or type of relationship.
Violence or abuse is a crime and should be reported to the police. You can:
- call 999 if a crime is happening now or you’re in immediate danger
- call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
- fill in the online crime form (avonandsomerset.police.uk)
The Bristol Against Violence and Abuse website lists organisations that can give support and advice, by the type of violence or abuse.
These organisations, supported by us, can also give help and support:
Support for women and girls
Next Link provide support services, and can help arrange emergency accommodation, for women and girls who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse:
Telephone help lines and live chat services are available 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
National Domestic Violence Helpline helps women experiencing domestic abuse.
You’ll be able to talk confidentially to someone about your situation and find out what your options are.
Call 0808 2000 247. The phone line is open 24 hours day and 7 days a week.
Women’s Aid has published the Survivor’s Handbook which has practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse.
Support for men and boys
With Victim Support, we offer support for all men who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse. This includes anyone who identifies as male, who is heterosexual, gay, bisexual or transgender or who is fleeing ‘honour’ based violence and forced marriage:
- call 0300 303 1972 or 07432 504692
- email email@example.com
You can also contact:
- Men's Advice Line: 0808 801 0327. Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
- ManKind: 01823 334244. Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
They can give you advice and find you a place in a safe house if it’s needed.
Support for children and young people
If you or someone else in your family is being hurt at home, you can tell a teacher, a neighbour, a friend, a friend's parent or the police. Domestic abuse isn’t your fault.
You can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free. They won't tell anyone else you’re calling unless you’re in immediate danger. They can tell you where you can get help.
The Hide Out website also helps children and young people experiencing domestic abuse and violence.
You can also contact First Response team on 0117 903 6444.
If you’re in a same-sex relationship
If you’re in a same-sex relationship, you can also contact Gallop, the national LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline.
Call: 0800 999 5428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're a victim of honour based violence or forced marriage
Honour based violence is domestic abuse usually committed by men towards women. Women are punished for bringing ‘shame’ on the family by not following rules that have been set, usually by the men of the family.
Honour based violence may be committed because a woman:
- has a boyfriend or a same-sex partner
- has rejected a forced marriage
- is pregnant outside of marriage
- has a relationship with someone from another faith
- asks for a divorce
- dresses in a way her partner or husband considers inappropriate
There are organisations that can help you if you’re experiencing honour based violence:
Support for victims of sexual abuse and violence
SARSAS (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support) is a support service for people who have experienced sexual violence at any point in their life.
Helplines: 0808 801 0456 or 0808 801 0464
Monday: 11am to 2pm
Tuesday: 12pm to 2pm, and 6pm to 8pm
Wednesday: 12pm to 2pm, and 6pm to 8pm
Thursday: 12pm to 2pm, and 6pm to 8pm
Friday: 11am to 2pm
These lines are open to all.
Emotional telephone support
If you want someone to listen and give you emotional support, call the Samaritans on 116 123 free from any phone.
If you’re a council tenant we can:
- repair damage caused by domestic violence
- give advice and help with the security of your home, such as changing the locks
- give housing, benefits and money advice
- give details of support organisations and help you contact them
Contact the Estate Management Service:
- call 0117 922 2200 (option four), Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm
- email email@example.com
If you move to temporary housing because of domestic violence, you might be able to claim housing benefit for both properties. You can apply for housing benefit online.
Elsewhere on the web
- Avon and Somerset Police, domestic abuse Go to https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/advice/threats,-assault-and-hate-crime/domestic-abuse/ (opens new window)
- GOV.UK, domestic violence and abuse Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-violence-and-abuse (opens new window)
- Galop, national LGBT domestic abuse helpline Go to http://www.galop.org.uk/ (opens new window)
- Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) Go to http://ikwro.org.uk/ (opens new window)
- Mankind Go to http://new.mankind.org.uk/ (opens new window)
- Rights of women Go to http://rightsofwomen.org.uk/ (opens new window)
- Men's advice line Go to http://mensadviceline.org.uk/ (opens new window)
- Respect Go to http://respect.uk.net/ (opens new window)
- National domestic violence helpline Go to http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/ (opens new window)