News & Media

Cost-of-Living Increases and Support

With the cost-of-living continuing to increase this winter, some tips on saving money on your energy bills are available from the link in the button. Links are also provided to National Energy Action (NEA), Citizens Advice, Groundwork, The Priority Services Register and Safer Homes Carbon Monoxide Alarms.

Each local authority has a webpage to help residents needing support with the cost-of-living (including links to Warm Spaces):

 

Surviving Economic Abuse have also produced a webpage of useful information for those for whom the cost-of-living increases have escalated or led to domestic abuse.

BDAP Recognition Award

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their work in helping support those affected by domestic abuse in Bedfordshire?

To submit your nomination, please email bdap@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk by the 31st December with:

  • Your name
  • The name of the person/team you would like to nominate
  • Reason for the nomination
  • Contact details for the nominee(s), including email address and phone number

Each special nominee will then receive a certificate of recognition on behalf of the BDAP.

16 Days of Action

16 Days of Action against Gender-based Violence (GBV) is an international campaign to challenge violence and abuse, especially against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

In support of this initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General launched in 2008 the campaign ‘UNITE by 2030 to End Violence against Women’, which runs parallel to the 16 Days of Action.

Every year community and voluntary groups across Bedfordshire join the global campaign to raise awareness of, and help bring an end to all forms of gender violence.

Please use the blue button to view more information on 16 Days of Action, as well as a calendar of Bedfordshire events.

Day of Memory

Day of Memory for those people lost to Honour Based Abuse takes place on 14th July. More information on Honour Based Abuse can be found here, it occurs when family members/friends believe that someone has brought shame to their family and/or community.

Karma Nirvana is a specialist charity for those affected by Honour Based Abuse. They estimate there are 12 'honour' killings each year in the UK (although the exact number is unknown). They campaigned for the national Day of Memory, along with Cosmopolitan magazine, change.org and the advertising agency Leo Burnett. The first Day of Memory was in 2015, with 14th July being the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed, who was murdered by her parents in 2003 for becoming ‘too westernised’.

Karma Nirvana run the national UK Helpline for people affected by honour based abuse, supporting over 2,000 victims every year. You can phone for free on 0800 5999 247, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. In 2022/23, the Helpline supported 2,540 people, 536 of whom were phoning regarding Forced Marriage. The Helpline will support anyone experiencing Honour Based Abuse, with 184 calls in 2022 coming from male victims.

More resources on Honour Based Abuse are below:

UCLAN Survey for Men with Lived Experience of Domestic Abuse

1 in 6 men will be impacted by domestic abuse during their lifetime.

A survey is being conducted by UCLAN to better understand the lived experiences, support received and the impact on male survivors of a range of crimes usually categorised as crimes against women and girls. This includes male survivors of domestic abuse.

It is vital that the voices of as many male survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence/abuse, stalking, forced marriage and honour-based abuse take part and their voices are heard.

Support for men experiencing domestic abuse can be found from The ManKind Initiative, who have a helpline at 01823 334 244 and Men's Advice Line can be reached on 0808 801 0327. More information can be found on the Get Help page. If you are in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.

Emergency Alert Risk

The Government is introducing Emergency Alerts. These will contact people via their mobile device in the event of an emergency that will put lives at risk, such as in public health emergencies, severe floods, fires, and industrial actions. Alerts will be accompanied by a loud sound, even if the device is on silent.

For those living within an abusive household, this could increase risk by alerting others in the household that people have separate or secret phones.

Please see the Government's National Emergency Alert Toolkit and Q&A documents for more information.

New 24/7 support service for victims of rape launched

On 7th December 2022, a new service launched to provide victims of rape in England and Wales access to around the clock support through the 24/7 Support Line. This service has been developed and launched by Rape Crisis.

This can be accessed by telephone on 0808 500 2222 and on webchat at www.247sexualabusesupport.org.uk

The service provides specialist operators who can provide victims with vital information and emotional support, including signposting to local, longer term services such as Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA). The service is aiming to support victims, encourage more prosecutions and deliver a key government pledge.

Under 16s who access the support line will be listened to and guided to appropriate alternative services.

Warm Spaces in Central Bedfordshire

As temperatures fall we are reminding residents that you can find a warm space and an even warmer welcome at a variety of local settings. The network of Warm Spaces are free to access and everyone is welcome.

You'll find Warm Spaces in:

  • libraries
  • leisure centres
  • community venues

Warm Spaces in Luton Borough

We know that the cost of living is impacting people in a number of ways and it’s a stressful time for many. As such Luton Council, along with our partners in the voluntary and charitable sector and faith organisations are hosting warm spaces.

A warm space is somewhere you can stay warm and get a warm drink. Some organisations will also offer additional activities or food provision, see information and opening times on the Luton Council website.

Warm Spaces in Bedford Borough

The rise in the cost of living and increased energy bills means that many households will struggle with their heating bills this winter. People will be faced with tough decisions about when they can afford to heat their home.

To help residents, Bedford Borough Council is working with local partners to develop a Warm Spaces network. Warm Spaces will offer free, non-judgemental spaces where people can go to stay warm and maybe enjoy some company and a hot drink, or simply spend time reading a magazine or book.

The Warm Spaces network will continue to grow as more organisations share their details.

As part of the Warm Spaces offer, our libraries are also providing inclusive and welcoming community spaces with free Wi-Fi and a range of activities.

Relationships Shouldn't Hurt now has transcriptions

Our podcast Relationships Shouldn't Hurt now has a transcription of each episode, the link to the transcribed document are available alongside each episode.

Stand Up Against Harassment, Bystander Training

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust have partnered with L’Oréal Paris to provide expert approved 'Stand Up Against Street Harassment' training programme by Right To Be. More information, including how to book, can be found here.

Sessions are one hour long and free to attend, it aims to upskill and empower individuals across various settings to help defuse situations, discourage harassers and support victims.

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

The Home Office are currently seeking views on the updated draft of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme Guidance, often referred to as “Clare’s Law”.

The consultation is aimed at:

  • criminal justice services, including courts, prisons, police forces, police and crime commissioners
  • English and Welsh local authorities
  • services for forms of violence against women and girls including any specialist domestic abuse services (this will include services serving men and boys)
  • local housing and homelessness teams, registered social landlords
  • early years, childcare, schools, colleges and higher education settings
  • healthcare sector
  • clinical Commissioning Groups (from 2022, Integrated Care Systems)
  • adult social care and children’s social care providers
  • employers and jobcentres
  • HM Prison and Probation services
  • HM Courts and Tribunals Service
  • community and faith groups
  • any other interested stakeholders, including victims and users of support and prevention services

Please go to Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for more information, to find the draft documents (including in accessible, easy read and BSL formats) and to respond to the consultation.

Government Publications

This week, the Government published several Policy Papers and Guidance documents around domestic abuse and related matters.

These include:

The Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan sets out the government’s approach to tackling domestic abuse, they hope to drive down the prevalence of domestic abuse and domestic homicide and provide victims/survivors with the support they need. It also delivers on the government’s statutory duty to deliver a strategy for the prosecution and management of domestic abuse perpetrators.

The Violence Against Women and Girls National Statement of Expectations outlines how local authorities can commission effective services for crimes which disproportionately affect women and girls. The Toolkit element provides practical guidance on this.

Supporting Male Victims of Crimes Considered Violence Against Women and Girls replaces the Male Victims Position Statement published in 2019. It sits alongside the previously mentioned publications and reiterates the government’s commitment to ensuring male victims of crimes which disproportionately affect women and girls are supported.

The Right to Choose: Government Guidance on Forced Marriage has also been published this week and provides guidance on forced marriage. It includes statutory guidance for heads of safeguarding organisations, and non-statutory guidance for front-line professionals.

16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse

16 Days of Action against Gender-based Violence (GBV) is an international campaign to challenge violence and abuse, especially against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th December, Human Rights Day. Every year community and voluntary groups across Bedfordshire join the global campaign to raise awareness of, and help bring an end to, all forms of gender violence.

Domestic abuse: how to get help

The Government get help webpage has been updated to include translations into a wider variety of different languages including: Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Persian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Welsh.

Domestic abuse resources for young people

Central Bedfordshire Council have produced some helpful resources for young people around recognising the signs of unhealthy relationships and information around appropriate safety planning

Childline’s new tool helps young people remove nude images shared online

The NSPCC’s service for children and young people, Childline, has launched the Report Remove tool with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to help young people remove nude images of themselves from the internet.

Domestic Abuse Act

Mel B and Sam Mackay star in Fabio D'Andrea's short film music video 'Love Should Not Hurt'

This video is made in support of Women's Aid.

Domestic Abuse Act

On 29th April 2021, the Domestic Abuse Bill was signed in to law. The Act aims to provide further protections to the millions of people who experience domestic abuse, as well as strengthen the measures to disrupt perpetrators.

Relationships Shouldn't Hurt Podcast

Click here to listen to the Domestic Abuse podcasts that we are creating to build a library of information about all things domestic abuse. Follow us and subscribe to the podcasts or find us on Spotify by searching for Relationships Shouldn't Hurt.

'Honour' - ITV's drama about the murder of Banaz Mahmoud

This drama based on the police investigation tells the events leading up to the murder, by members of her family of 20 year old Banaz. Please be advised that the programme contains graphic descriptions of the experiences of Banaz.

EastEnders - Chantelle Atkins

The domestic abuse storyline culminates in the death of Chantelle by her husband Gray in the episode broadcast on 18th September. Please be aware that this episode could be triggering for many so please take care of yourselves

Panorama - Escaping my Abuser

Home is not always a safe place. Panorama investigates what the 'Stay at Home' pandemic rule meant for those trapped with an abusive partner. Please be aware this film contains descriptions that are distressing.

Victoria Cilliers story

Victoria survived against the odds after her husband tried to kill her by tampering with her parachute before she took a 4000 foot jump. Hear her story on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour

SafeLives Survey

The survey found that two thirds of those experiencing domestic abuse afraid to seek help during lockdown

Domestic Abuse Podcasts - Undiscussable

Listen to the weekly podcasts that have also been included on Talk Radio to raise awareness of how domestic abuse impacts all areas of society.

BBC News

Coronavirus: Domestic Abuse short film in which survivors talk about their experiences in lockdown

Home Office Domestic Abuse Campaign translated materials

Click on the button to download materials in different languages to raise awareness of domestic abuse

The Domestic Abuse Bill

The Domestic Abuse Bill has had a second reading in Parliament

Domestic Abuse, Domestic Homicide & Lockdown

Read Laura Richards article about the patterns of behaviour that we cannot ignore.

Short Films

Surfaces

A film commissioned by Refuge depicting a brutal portrayal of domestic abuse and hope now that the survivor has left.

Promise

This film accompanied by a rap soundtrack describes how Sarah becomes the tragic victim of fatal domestic abuse carries out by the man she loves.

One Year

In 5 minutes watch what it is like to go through a domestic abuse case

Older articles

Emotional Abuse

Read one woman's experience "My fiance seemed perfect-but he wanted to control me."

Forced Marriage Protection Orders

Find out how Forced Marriage Protection Orders can protect you.

Level Up's Guidelines

UK press regulators support Level Up’s new guidelines on how domestic abuse deaths are reported.