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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.

Call 999 if a crime is happening now or you're in immediate danger.

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.

Report it

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)
  • visit your local police station

Get support

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:

Office hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm
  • Saturday 9.30am to 1pm

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.

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 gay, bisexual or transgender or who is fleeing ‘honour’ based violence and forced marriage:

You can also contact:

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 help@galop.org.uk

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:

SARSAS

SARSAS(Somerset & Avon Rape & Sexual Abuse Support) is a support service for people who have experienced sexual violence at any point in their life.

Women and girls, call 0808 801 0456
Office hours:

  • Monday and Friday, 11am to 2pm
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 6.00pm-8.30pm

Men and boys, call 0808 801 0464
Office hours:

  • Monday, 11am to 2pm
  • Tuesday, 6.00pm-8.30pm

Samaritans

If you want someone to listen and give you emotional support, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.

Council tenants

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:

Housing benefit
If you move to temporary housing because of domestic violence, you might be able to claim housing benefit for both properties. Fill in a new claim form to apply.