Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Our Services A - Z :

Domestic Abuse

Community Safety Banner pink


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 behaviour
  • Verbal Domestic Abuse
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional


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 everyday behaviour.

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 999.

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 you.

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 programme.
For more information please visit http://www.lutonallwomenscentre.org.uk/


Liberty programme

Liberty Programme is offered through Families First Bedfordshire and is for women who live within Bedford Borough.

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.
To find out more about this programme please email mailto:admin@gfc.gb.com


Victim Support

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 https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-victims/ive-been-affected/domestic-abuse


National Helplines

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 UK.
It is run in partnership with:


Victim Information Service

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.


Mens Advice Line

0808 801 0327

A confidential helpline for any man experiencing Domestic Abuse.

Run by Respect


The Mankind Initiative

01823 334 244

A national charity that provides help and support to male victims of Domestic Abuse


Broken Rainbow

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 are.


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.


Stay Connected
Sign up for email alerts!