South Gloucestershire Council are recommissioning Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation and Support Services with new contracts due to commence on 1st October 2023. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 places a statutory duty on tier one local authorities relating to the provision of support to victims of domestic abuse and their children residing within refuges and other safe accommodation. There is more funding available to South Gloucestershire Council to provide domestic violence and abuse support services since our last commissioning cycle in 2016/7 and the council is proposing to use this additional funding to increase its provision of domestic violence and abuse services and to build on and improve how we provide these services.
We are consulting on our commissioning intentions and encourage providers, stakeholders, service users and the community to complete the consultation questionnaire with your responses so that we can feed this information into the design of the services moving forward. The consultation will be open between 25th August and October 20th 2022.
Next Link provides support services for women, men, children and members of the LGBT community in South Gloucestershire who are or have been victims of domestic abuse. Their services include telephone help and advice, safe house accommodation, community outreach services and group programmes.
Referrals can be made by telephone, email or through the Next Link Website. At the first point of contact there is a triage advice service, and all victims asking for support are offered a relevant service that meets their needs and responds to their immediate safety risks.
Callers wanting advice and guidance can access the accredited advice service. Callers can also talk anonymously with our support workers through the live chat helpline which is open daily through our website.
Next Link South Gloucestershire domestic abuse telephone help lines are open on 0800 4700 280:
- 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday
- 9:30am – 1:00pm on Saturday
There is 24-hour emergency phone support if you call outside these hours but if you are in immediate danger ring 999.
Next Link contact details:
Avon and Somerset Family Law provide legal support. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic they are not conducting any face to face meetings but they will be available by phone. You can call Avon & Somerset Family Law every other Tuesday between 9am-12pm on the numbers below for the advice you would usually seek at the SG drop in.
• Micha Lilley: 07535610230
• Emma Wildblood: 07393 231210
• Zina Ruffino: 07767 102 390
(Only between 9am-12pm)
Domestic violence and abuse happens in all communities and anyone can be a victim regardless of age, race, income, religion, sex, disability, culture or sexual orientation.
It is very common and we also know that it is a very hidden crime, with many victims not reporting it to the police. If you or a friend need help support is available. There are people who will listen to you and can give you advice on how to keep and stay safe.
Domestic violence and abuse can be psychological, physical, financial or emotional. It can include:
- emotional – being called names, being made to feel bad about yourself, being stopped from going out, being told what you can or can’t wear
- financial or economic– being kept short of money or not being allowed to make decisions about money
- physical – being hit, punched, kicked, slapped or pushed
- psychological – being told you are a bad parent, or that children will be taken away from you or being deliberately isolated from friends and family
- sexual – being forced to have sex when you do not want to
- control – 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.
Call 999 if a crime is happening now or you’re in immediate danger.
Domestic violence and abuse can be perpetrated by a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer.
It’s really important to remember that whatever your circumstances, what is happening to you isn’t your fault and help is available. Domestic violence and abuse isn’t acceptable and the victim is never to blame.
Freedom Programme is a 12-week rolling programme open to any woman who wishes to learn more about the reality of domestic abuse. Contact Next Link for details of where programmes are running in South Gloucestershire. The programme aims to:
- help women understand the beliefs held by abusive men and in so doing recognise which of these beliefs they have shared
- illustrate the effects of domestic abuse on children
- assist women to recognise potential future abusers
- help women gain self-esteem and develop their confidence to improve the quality of their lives
- introduce women to local domestic abuse services that can help them
Safelink provide independent support for anyone (women, men, and children) who has been the victim of rape and sexual abuse across the whole of Avon and Somerset area. You do NOT have to report to the police to access our services. We also provide women’s mental health and domestic abuse support services.
Kinergy is a registered charity offering counselling up to 24 weeks, group work and a monthly support group to men and women who are survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Based in Kingswood Kinergy works with people from the surrounding areas – predominantly South Gloucestershire and Bristol, and people travel from as far as Bath and North East Somerset.
Kinergy has 20 years’ experience of providing specialist trauma informed counselling. We recognise the deep and far reaching effects of sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.
There is a deep understanding of how sexual abuse and childhood sexual abuse can affect all areas of a person’s life and the aim is to provide a safe, accepting and supportive environment where people can come to terms with the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future.
Kinergy also provides counselling through the iaptus referral pathway (NHS) as a specialist counselling agency step 3.
To find out more about these services please call 0117 908 7712 or
SARSAS provides support to people in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, B&NES, North Somerset and Somerset, who have experienced rape or any kind of sexual assault or abuse at any time in their lives.
To find out more about this service please call 0808 801 0456 or 0808 801 0464
Survivor Pathway is an online resource for anyone wanting to know more about specialist sexual violence support service in the South West. You can find information by visiting their website https://www.survivorpathway.org.uk/
Kooth counselling is a free, safe and anonymous online support for young people.
BAVA’s (Bristol Against Violence and Abuse) children and young people page has information relevant to local contacts.
Respect provide a Domestic abuse helpline for men.
Galop - the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity. Galop has provided advice, support, research and lobbying around the issues of LGBT+ policing for over 30 years.
LGBT+ Domestic abuse helpline: 0800 999 5428
Surviving economic abuse website provides information and support on economic abuse.
If you are living with domestic abuse, it can be very hard to ask for help, public libraries are safe places where anyone can go to find out about the support available.
Library computers are free to use to access the internet safely to seek information and support without fear of anyone being aware of the information you are checking. The computers are reset every time they are used so an abuser cannot track a search.
The library service has worked with Next Link South Gloucestershire to choose books to support victims of domestic abuse and for readers interested in widening their knowledge of the issues. These books can be read in the library or borrowed discreetly on our self-service kiosk and taken away.
If you have any queries relating to the contents of this page, or regarding DVA services at local authority level, please contact: