Unfortunately abuse is common but thankfully support for the different kinds of abuse is plentiful.
Abuse can take various forms including but not limited to the following: physical abuse (pushing, hitting, choking, use of weapons for example), sexual abuse (coercion to have sex, rape, sexual assault, unwanted sexual activity, touching, groping or being forced to watch sexual acts or pornography), financial abuse (control of money, restricting money, preventing someone to work), emotional/psychological abuse (stalking harassment, blackmailing, playing mind games) and ritual abuse.
Below is a list of support groups in the UK for victims/survivors of abuse. If you know of support that is not listed below please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will add it to the list.
- Find your nearest Rape Crisis Centre here.
- Find your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre here.
- This is Abuse – Support if you are in an abusive relationship.
- My Decision – Support from Metropolitan Police for assault survivors and family/friends.
- Refuge – Provides safe emergency accommodation, counselling and specialist services.
- Broken Rainbow – Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence.
- Men’s Advice Line – Support for men who are experiencing domestic violence or abuse.
- Respect – Support and advice for those inflicting violence in relationships.
- The Survivors Trust – Support for survivors of rape and sexual assault.
- Southall Black Sisters – Support to Ethnic Minority women experiencing domestic & sexual violence.
- Victim Support – Support for victims of crimes without having to report to the police.
- Stop Online Abuse – Advice and support for reporting online abuse, harassment and stalking.
Are you a friend of the survivor?
If someone has come to you for support, listen to them. Don’t judge or put your views across, listen with an unbiased openness. Don’t ask for proof and don’t question them. Your job is to be there for them. If appropriate you can suggest contacting someone who better able to support them (see links above) so they can get the right support. You can always offer to go with them or be with them.
Are you a partner of the survivor?
Supporting someone you love who has been abused can be extremely difficult. You might be hurt and upset and even have some bad thoughts about revenge. It is a good idea to get support for yourself. People deal with this in different ways, try to remember that they have been abused and support them. You an go to counselling together, be there with them or go with them but wait for them outside so they have someone when they are finished. Sit down with them and hear what they want to do. You cannot make that decision for them and should not. Help them explore options and find the support that they need. It is very possible they are unsure what they need, so explore options together and maybe star with some of the links above. Let them know you care and that they are important.
Are you a survivor?
If you have survived abuse and want support you can find some Kink Aware Counsellors on Pink Therapy when you search with ‘kink aware’ as they keyword, they are kink friendly and in the UK. They will have a cultural understanding of BDSM and not judge you. It is a safe space for you to seek support for your abuse, heal and go on with you life.
If you decide to report your crime, it should be your decision to do this, no one else can or should decide this for you. There is a common belief that you cannot go to the police if there is a background of BDSM in your relationship. There are some Police Stations called ‘sapphire‘ police stations that are better equipt to deal with this. A sapphire police officer will have specialised training in Domestic Violence, sexual assault and rape abuse.
Backlash have therapists available to support you and can provide some over the phone counselling, particularly if you are looking at reporting to the police. They may be able to come with you to the police station when you report your crime and provide support with an understanding of BDSM. I highly recommend contacting them if you are considering reporting your crime to the police. They are a wonderful group if people.