What is Domestic Abuse?
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive,
threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between
those aged 16 or over
who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members
regardless of gender or sexuality.
The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to the following
types of abuse:
- Controlling, threatening or coercive
This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence,
female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear
that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts
designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating
them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and
capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed
for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of
acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other
abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
How can I report Domestic Abuse?
Whether you are a victim, witness or reporting on behalf
of someone else you can contact the Police at any time.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger always dial
For non-emergency calls ring 101 or you can use the online
Abuse Reporting Form
Who Can Help?
If you are a victim of Domestic Abuse it is not your fault. You
are not alone.
There are many people that can help you.
Bedford Borough Council will work closely with the Police and
other local agencies to get you the support that you need.
Links to more local information and advice:
Bedfordshire Support Groups
If you are a survivor of domestic abuse or a current
victim, there are services throughout Bedfordshire to help
The Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme is offered through in Both Bedford Borough
and Central Bedfordshire. It is a weekly support programme for
women who are in abusive relationships, or who have survived
abusive relationships. It is a 12 week programme, but you can join
at any point.
Freedom is designed to help women recover from the emotional
abuse of an unhealthy relationship, rebuild self esteem and assist
women to recognise the signs of an abusive relationship to help
protect them in the future.
Victims and survivors can self refer into the programme, or
professionals can make referrals on their behalf. To find out more
about freedom, please call 0300 300 5726
In 2015 Luton All Women's Centre started to offer Freedom in
Polish. You do not need to live in Luton to access this
For more information please visit http://www.lutonallwomenscentre.org.uk/
Liberty Programme is offered through Families
First Bedfordshire and is for women who live within Bedford
Liberty is a 12 to 24 week support programme that concentrates
on helping women build their self-esteem and confidence. Liberty is
a closed group for a maximum of 10 women.
Click here for more
information and programme start dates.
To find out more about this programme please email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Victim Support is a national charity helping those who have been
a victim of crime. Victim Support have trained staff and volunteers
who will be able to help victims by offering emotional support and
assist victims to move on from abusive relationships. For more
information on how Victim Support can assist victims dealing with
domestic abuse click here
National Domestic Abuse Helpline (24 hours)
0808 2000 247
This service provides information, support and practical help to
women experiencing Domestic Abuse.
It can refer women and their children to refuges throughout the
It is run in partnership with:
0808 168 9293
Operates Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 08:00 pm, and weekends
Saturday 05:00 pm to Monday 08:00 am.
The web site offers help in your local area.
The service also provides support and guidance for friends and
family of victims.
0808 801 0327
A confidential helpline for any man experiencing Domestic
Run by Respect
01823 334 244
A national charity that provides help and support to male
victims of Domestic Abuse
0300 999 5428
Provides a service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people who are experiencing Domestic Abuse
0500 700 740
This is a confidential, non-traceable service for those who have
left home but want to pass on a message to family and friends
without communicating directly. People escaping Domestic Abuse can
use this service without having to give details of where they
Forced Mariage Unit
0207 008 0151
A single point of cofidential advice and assistance for those at
risk of being forced into marriage overseas or at home.