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Birmingham City Council

Home Options: Domestic Violence Referral

Overview

The Government defines domestic violence as "Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality."

Birmingham City Council recognises its responsibility in ensuring a safe community to its residents and is committed to tackling domestic violence. As a demonstration of our commitment, we have along with other key partners, for example Police and Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWAID) launched a Pan-Birmingham Domestic Violence Strategy 2006-09 with the aim of bringing together the range of partners involved in tackling domestic violence.

We recognise that survivors of domestic violence/abuse may be afraid to get help and may be too scared to even speak about the problems they are having. We have developed a special service which will provide them with free and confidential advice and support. We will take into account any cultural or religious factors when dealing with survivors of domestic violence and aim to give them as much support as possible.

Who can contact us?

  • Children and their families;
  • The person subject to domestic violence;
  • Relatives, friends, neighbours and;
  • Professionals such as teachers, doctors, nurses and health visitors.

All victims of domestic violence are encouraged to report incidents to their local police on 0345 113 5000 or by calling 999 in an emergency. If outside office hours, contact the Social Services Emergency Duty Team on 0121 675 4806.

Further contact details are listed below.

Essential Information
  • Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid

    West Midlands Police

  • Out of Hours DV Helpline
    Telephone: 0121 643 4800

    BHAROSA - This helpline provides a confidential, culturally, linguistically sensitive counselling and advice service for Asian Women and Families
    Telephone: 0121 303 0368 or 0121 303 0369

    Equalities Division - Policy information on domestic violence
    Telephone: 0121 303 2545

    Neighbourhood Advice and Information Services
    Telephone: 0121 303 1111

    Rape and Sexual Violence Project - Help lines for persons affected by rape or sexual abuse
    Telephone: 0121 643 5600

    Youth Link - Local agency providing support, information and advocacy to children and young people
    Telephone: 0121 236 0323


    Victim Support Schemes

    Victim Support Line: 0845 303 0900
    Central & West Birmingham: 0121 455 8211
    East Birmingham : 0121 327 6133
    South West Birmingham: 0121 444 0327
    North Birmingham: 0121 386 4300
    Sparkhill: 0121 772 0040
    North Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield (Erdington): 0121 354 4321

    Women Acting In Today’s Society (WAITS)
    Telephone: 0121 440 7000

    Aquarius Women’s Alcohol Project
    Telephone: 0121 233 4788

    Aquarius Head Office
    Telephone: 0121 632 4727

    Home-Start
    Telephone: 0121 747 4631


    Services Targeted at Specific Groups

    Asian Resource Centre
    Telephone: 0121 523 0580

    Women’s Help Centre
    Telephone: 0121 551 2370

    Afro-Caribbean Resource Centre
    Telephone: 0121 455 6382

    Refocus (African/Caribbean)
    Telephone: 0121 772 4326

    Birmingham Chinese Community Centre
    Telephone: 0121 685 8510

    Disability West Midlands
    Telephone: 0121 414 1616

    Disability Resource Centre
    Telephone: 0121 789 7365

    Men's Advice Line and Enquiries
    Telephone: 0181 644 9914


    24 hour Helpline Numbers

    Careline
    Telephone: 0181 514 1177

    NHS Direct
    Telephone: 0845 4647

    NSPCC - National Society for Protection Against Cruelty to Children
    Telephone: 0800 800500

    Women’s Aid
    Telephone: 0345 023468

    Refuge 24-hour National Crisis Line
    Telephone: 0990 995 443

    Childcare Information Bureau (Provides information on child care facilities)
    Telephone: 01213033521


    The Education Welfare Service (Help on matters relating to children)

    North Birmingham: 0121 303 8900
    South Birmingham: 0121 303 8050
    Central Birmingham: 0121 303 1200

    Social Services Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours)
    Telephone: 0121 475 4806


    Services Related to Children


    Child Line 24 hours helpline
    Telephone: 0800 1111

    Children's Society - Offering child-centred specialist support services for families experiencing domestic violence
    Telephone: 0121 356 7919

    KIDS - A family centre providing services and support for children and their families. All services are fully integrated for children with special needs whilst work is on-going with parents and carers
    Telephone: 0121 355 2707


    Family Service Units

    East Birmingham (particularly for South Asian families): 0121 772 4217
    Kings Norton: 0121 459 4232


    West Midlands Police

    Aston: 0121 322 6128
    Bournville: 0121 626 4134
    Chelmsley Wood: 0121 712 6113
    Handsworth (Thornhill Road): 0121 626 5976
    Kings Heath: 0121 626 4125
    Stechford: 0121 626 7135
    Sutton Coldfield: 0121 322 6136
    Rose Road: 0121 626 6105
    Steelhouse Lane, Central Birmingham: 0121 626 8717


    General Support Agencies

    Samaritans (National): 0345 909 090
    Samaritans (Birmingham): 0121 666 6644 (24 hour counselling service)

    Citizens Advice Bureau’s Telephone Service
    Telephone: 0121 248 4850

    Legal Helplines
    Telephone: 07767 888 855, 07767 2001818

Frequently Asked Questions
    • Abuse and threats between intimate partners or family members can be physical, verbal, psychological, and financial. It includes but is not limited to name calling and putting someone down, making them appear stupid, withholding money, actual or threatened physical harm, threatening to take the children away or commit suicide.

    • You can book an appointment or visit your local neighbourhood office, who will be able to provide you with a full benefit check and assist you to claim any benefits or tax credits that you are entitled to.

      They will also discuss your housing options, which can include a referral to Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, or an application for emergency accommodation or if you wish make an appointment to be interviewed by a homeless interviewing officer who will assist you to make a homeless application.


    • The Housing Department is working closely with West Midlands Police, Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWAID), West Midlands Fire Service and Community Safety partnership in order to provide a safe, secure alternative for victims of domestic violence, where the perpetrator is not living with the victim.

      Some of the security measures can include;

      • New locks;
      • Door viewer;
      • Door chains;
      • Fire safety equipment;
      • Provision of a safe “sanctuary” room;
      • Provision of a mobile phone.

      Eligibility

      • The project is cross tenure, so referrals can be accepted from local authority and RSL tenants as well as private tenants and owner occupiers;
      • The perpetrator must not live in the property;
      • Sanctuary is a choice, so this must be a genuine option for victims of domestic violence;
      • Person must be at risk of homelessness due to domestic violence;
      • The victim must be the sole tenant/owner. However, where the property is in joint names the victim will be given support and help from the BSWAID Sanctuary support workers to access legal and civil remedies to prevent the perpetrator from accessing the property.

      Making a Referral

      If you are a woman you can refer yourself to Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, contact details are listed below

      Or

      You can visit any neighbourhood office who will make a referral to this service through the Domestic Violence Home Options to Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid who will undertake a face to face interview with the woman, exploring this and other options.


      If you are a man you can refer yourself to this scheme via sanctuary@birmingham.gov.uk.

      Or

      You can visit any Neighbourhood Office who will undertake F2F interview with the man and explore sanctuary and other options with them and make referral to above address if appropriate.

    • Visual Evidence for Victims (VEV) project allows victims of any violent crime to have evidential photograph taken by a voluntary agency. These photographs are admissible as evidence in court and are stored securely at the supporting agency.


      Visual Evidence for Victims supports victims of crime (aged 18 and over) that are not yet ready to go to the police, for whatever reason. VEV was set up to allow victims to have evidence of a crime recorded by a voluntary sector agency in confidence. The agencies involved in the project are trained to record photographic evidence that is admissible as evidence in court. The project is supported by West Midlands Police, but it is managed by Victim Support West Midlands and is entirely independent from the police.


      The approved Polaroid cameras are used to take photograph of injuries to people or damage to property caused by Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence or Hate crime (crimes committed against an individual because of their sexuality, race religion disability).


      VEV service is completely confidential and free of charge. We will NOT tell anyone else that we have taken photographs.


      The supporting agencies store the photographs securely for future use, and they can be kept for up to 6 years. The evidence can be used for reporting crime to the police at a later stage, and in any criminal proceedings as a result. It can also be used in civil proceedings (for example to get an injunction), or to support a claim for criminal injuries compensation. The victim is able to decide when and if the photographs are used. If the victim wishes to use them as evidence they must give their signed consent. If the victim no longer wishes for the photo to be kept.


      VEV agencies in Birmingham can be found on the Victim Support site


    • Domestic violence/abuse can affect both men and women as well as people who are lesbian, gay or transgendered.

    • We work with a range of organisations to help victims escape the situation and find somewhere safe to stay. If you need help with your housing or benefit entitlement, the first thing you need to do is to contact our Home Options service at any of our neighbourhood offices to tell us about the problems you are facing. This is a friendly and confidential service to make sure you get the help you need as quickly as possible. You can either:
      • Call us on 0121 303 1111 to book a convenient appointment at the neighbourhood office
      Or