Aragon Housing Association can offer support and advice to people who are suffering domestic abuse.
It can take many forms and is not always physical violence by a man against a woman, as many people believe. Domestic abuse can be physical, mental or emotional. It can be perpetrated by a man or a woman and victims, too, can be either men or women. There can also be abuse between two people of the same gender.
Aragon also operates a safe haven for victims of domestic abuse in the form of two recently opened refuges for women and their children.
If you are looking for services in Bedfordshire that offer practical help and emotional support to people who have been the victim of any crime including domestic abuse, you may find this directory useful.
Bedfordshire Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership website gives information about domestic and sexual abuse and advice about where to go for help and resources for professionals.
How do I recognise domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse can take a number of different forms; for example physical, sexual, verbal, financial or mental. Domestic abuse can be widespread and often goes unreported. We recognise that domestic abuse has no barriers and can affect any individual regardless of race, age, social status or gender. Aragon Housing Association (Aragon) is part of the Bedfordshire Domestic Violence Partnership and actively works with both statutory and voluntary agencies to continue to improve domestic abuse services.
What is domestic abuse?
- Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
- Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
- Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
- Have to ask for money for basic day to day needs?
Does your partner:
- Humiliate or yell at you?
- Criticise you and put you down?
- Isolate you from family and friends?
- Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
- Blame you for their own abusive behaviour?
- See you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
- Act excessively jealous and possessive?
- Control your movements?
- Control how you dress?
- Limit access to money?
- Threaten suicide if you leave?
- Threaten to harm you or your children?
- Destroy your belongings?
What do I do if I am suffering domestic abuse?
Making a crisis plan may be useful if you need to leave in a hurry. Below are some suggestions to consider:
- Is there somewhere you can use a phone in an emergency such as a friend or relative’s house?
- Consider organising a spare set of keys to your home.
- Are you able to put aside money to assist with bus, taxi or train fares?
- Keep keys, money and a spare set of clothes in a bag that you can access in a hurry.
- If possible, take identification with you such as driving licence, birth certificate, passport and bank details, cards, benefit books etc.
- Remember any medication you may need to take with you.
- Do you have children? Are you able to discuss your crisis plan with them?
Who do I contact?
If you have any questions regarding your housing needs we can offer confidential advice and, if appropriate, a referral to partnering agencies.
Information will not be shared with third parties without your consent unless we believe there is significant risk to a child or vulnerable adult. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, don’t suffer in silence. You can contact any of the numbers below where you can talk to someone in confidence.
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
MEDA (refuge information for males experiencing domestic abuse) – 01686 610391
MALE (confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic abuse) – 0208 6449914
In an emergency dial 999
Forced marriage is a form of domestic abuse and is an abuse of human rights. It could also be classed as child abuse, if it affects children and young people.
Women trapped in forced marriages often suffer violence, rape, forced pregnancy and forced childbearing. Sometimes when the victims escape, the families go to great lengths to trace them. This could lead to the victim being murdered by the family (so called ‘honour killing’) or they may subject them to further honour-based violence or abuse.
It is not just women who are subjected to forced marriage – it happens to men too. Around 15% of the calls that the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) receives involve boys or men. It can also happen to women and men with a learning or physical disability. In these cases it may be less apparent and so more difficult to identify.
If you are a victim of forced marriage, or know someone who is, the FMU can support you. The FMU works with other government departments, statutory agencies and voluntary organisations to develop effective policy for tackling forced marriage.
The FMU runs a public helpline providing confidential advice and support to victims. Caseworkers in the Unit have extensive experience of the cultural, social and emotional issues surrounding forced marriage.
If you feel you need support from this service you can contact Aragon for referral on 0300 123 5544 or contact the FMU direct on: Tel: 020 7008 0151 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Out of hours emergencies: 020 7008 1500