If you feel scared of your partner it is likely that you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Abuse and violence can be psychological, physical, financial or emotional. It can include:
Anyone can be a victim of abuse regardless of age, race, income, religion, belief, sex, disability, culture or sexual orientation. The abuser may be a family member or someone you are in or have been in a relationship with.
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.
If you can’t use a voice phone, you can register with the police text service – text REGISTER to 999. You will get a text which tells you what to do next. Do this when it is safe so you can text when you are in danger.
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:
On a landline phone:
How to report it if you are not in immediate danger:
If you think you are experiencing any type of abuse, it is important to remember that it is not your fault and that there is support available.
If you are unsure, 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 many services that can provide support.
You can speak to your teacher, GP, work colleague 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.
A personal safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself. It helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave. Read Women's Aid advice for making a personal safety plan.
The Next Link Plus service offers specialist domestic abuse support for women, men and children and young people from all communities (including LGBTQ+ and black and minority ethnic). They will support with any additional needs (for example substance misuse, mental health, hearing difficulties, learning disabilities, etc.). They also support for those affected by so-called honour-based violence or forced marriage.
Victim Support offer domestic abuse services for male victims and those who identify as male in Bristol. They offer safety planning, support through civil and criminal proceedings, access to emotional support, appropriate housing and more. Call 0300 303 1972 or 07432 504692 or email email@example.com, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9:30am - 5:30pm and Tuesday and Thursday: 11am - 7pm. Please see this Bristol Men's Domestic Abuse Project leaflet for more information.
Victim Support also provide free confidential support to male and female victims of all crimes including domestic abuse, call 0300 303 1972. There is also a 24-hour National Support line outside these hours, call 0808 168 9111.
The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. Translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available. Call: 0808 2000 247. The phone line is open 24 hours day.
Have published the Survivor’s Handbook which has practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse.
Advisers provide support for male and female victims including crisis intervention, risk assessment and advocacy. 8am - 4pm daily, Monday to Sunday including bank holidays Call 0117 342 1495 / 1496.
Offer support for men and boys who are victims of domestic abuse. Call 0808 801 0327, open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Offer support for men and boys who are victims of domestic abuse Call 01823 334244, open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
If you’re in a same-sex relationship you can also contact Galop, the national LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline. Call: 0800 999 5428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help for women and children in the Polish community who experience domestic violence and abuse to benefit from greater access to care, support, justice, and other services needed to ensure physical and mental health, social wellbeing, and financial security.
Helpline number for victims of domestic abuse in Polish language 0300 3651700 or email email@example.com.
Support groups for women held throughout Bristol. Free programme for any woman with experience of living with domestic violence and abuse, or has left the relationship. You can refer yourself or professionals can refer for you. Please contact Next Link on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0117 9250680 to apply for a place and for further details.
A national organisation that specifically helps victims of domestic violence and abuse to obtain legal protection irrespective of their financial position. You can refer direct via their website www.referdirect.org.uk or download their app.
If you want someone to listen and give you emotional support, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
Bristol City Council can:
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.
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.
They won't tell anyone else you’re calling unless you’re in immediate danger. They can tell you where you can get help. You can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free.
A website to help children and young people experiencing domestic abuse and violence.
Bristol's front door to social care (where to report a concern about a child). Call First Response on 0117 903 6444.
Support for those who are concerned that their behaviour has become abusive and want to change is available from the Respect helpline 0808 8024040
The University of Bristol and Splitz Support Service in conjunction with Next Link are running a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire as part of a larger research study named Reprovide. Men can be referred by services or can self-refer. For more information, read the Reprovide leaflet and Reprovide poster. You can contact the programme by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07976 225462.
The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse. Even during lockdown, if you are in danger in your home, please leave and seek help. Call 999 in an emergency. Help is available – services are open and able to provide support. It is important to know that you are not alone. Even if you are unable to leave your home at the moment, you can still access support through the support helplines and services listed above.
You Are Not Alone Campaign Video - The Government launched the ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign in April 2020. Avon and Somerset Police have worked with local services to support this.
GOV.UK has information on support for victims of domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis.
Safe Lives have published a guide to staying safe during COVID-19 for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
Women's Aid safety and support resources for survivors, friends, family, neighbours and community members.
Are you worried about friend, family, neighbour or work colleague? If you are worried or concerned about someone but are unsure how to support them, below you will find some useful packs which include practical and emotional support advice and tools.
Domestic abuse friends and family booklet - If you are worried about a friend or relative who has been affected by domestic abuse, read this guide offers practical and emotional advice on how best to support them.
Advice for families and friends of people being abusive to a partner booklet - If you are worried about a friend or relative who may be abusive towards their partner, read this guide offering safe practical advice. The guide was written in collaboration with Bristol City Council, Police and Crime Commissioners and RSVP, the dedicated service working with perpetrators of domestic abuse in Bristol.
Signs of domestic abuse for family and friends - posters from the This is Not An Excuse campaign highlighting signs of domestic abuse to look out for in friends and family.
Clare's Law - also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) allows members of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them. Also, a member of the public can make enquiries about the partner of a close friend or family member.
If police checks show the person has a record of abusive offences, or suggest a risk of violence or abuse, the police will consider sharing this information.
If the police decide to share the information it will usually be to the person at risk. This is unless someone else is better placed to use the information to protect the person at risk from abuse (e.g. if the person at risk is a young person or a vulnerable adult).
Understanding Domestic Violence and Abuse - a teaching pack for delivering awareness to people with learning difficulties.
Abuse in Relationships: Can You See It? - YouTube video from the This Is Abuse campaign focusing on young people and domestic abuse.
This Is Not An Excuse - website with resources for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault or child sexual exploitation.
Spiralling Film - a film about young people and domestic abuse. The film is hosted on Vimeo.
Spiralling Toolkit - an accompanying toolkit for the Spiralling film.
Why doesn't she leave? - TED Talk from Leslie Morgan Steiner, hosted on YouTube.
Estate Agent Advert 'House Hunt' - a short film from National Centre for Domestic Violence