25 Oct 2016

Public Health

New enhanced service for victims of domestic violence and abuse

When: Thursday, October 27, 10.30am.

Who: Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Carol Metters, Chief Executive of Next Link and former service users willing to talk about their experiences.

Where: 5 Queen Square, Bristol.

Please confirm attendance to Kirsty Stilwell on 0117 3525633 or email kirsty.stilwell@bristol.gov.uk

A new enhanced service offering support to women who have been the victims of domestic abuse is being launched in Bristol.

Provided by Next Link, the service provides a single point of contact offering emergency and crisis support, help to access other services and advice to professionals.

As part of the new offering, there will be extended opening hours, a central Bristol drop in centre, support plans for all children and a single point of contact telephone service.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I am really pleased that Next Link has launched this new enhanced service to support victims of domestic abuse.

“It is a tragedy that many women in Bristol are still living in fear and we have to do everything we can to make sure gender-based violence, abuse or exploitation is not accepted.

“We need to work together to support women and give them the skills and opportunities to rebuild their lives. Ultimately we must aim to eliminate this kind of abuse from our homes and communities.”

The service also offers:

  • 36-38 safe house spaces for single women and women with children, to support 100 households each year
  • Outreach support services for 650 women living in the community to decrease risk from domestic violence and abuse
  • Support to children – individual support plan for each child, supporting children to settle into school or nursery
  • Advocacy support for victim’s going through the Criminal Justice System to seek redress or safety measures

In addition Next Link run a complex needs safe house for women with additional support needs. Both these services are commissioned by Bristol City Council on behalf of the Safer Bristol Partnership.

Carol Metters, Chief Executive Next link Domestic Abuse Services, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue to deliver this much needed service for the victims of domestic abuse across Bristol.

“Together with our provision of safe house accommodation for women with complex needs we are able to offer a range of services to meet the needs of the women we support.

“Domestic abuse is one of the biggest causes of homelessness for women, and we know that they sometimes have experienced multiple and complex problems including mental health and substance misuse issues.

“It is important that women who are experiencing domestic abuse know that it is not their fault and there is help available to make them safe.”

Anyone looking for support can call Next Link on 0117 9250680.

Note to Editors:

Next Link domestic abuse services have provided expert advice and support in the domestic abuse field for over 17 years.

Both the Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner and Safer Bristol Partnership have identified vulnerability, including survivors of gender based violence, as a strategic priority.