Bede: Ending Domestic Abuse

The Bede Starfish Domestic Abuse Project works with people affected by domestic violence. We aim to help you and your children live free from fear. If you are being abused within a relationship, we can offer advice and support to help you protect yourself, take action and rebuild your life. Nearly ninety percent of our clients live more safely as a result of our help.

During the Covid-19 pandemic we have adapted our regular services to ensure that we meet health and safety guidelines. Please contact us for further details.

How to stay safe online


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Remember the 999 silent-call service: if you call 999 and are interrupted or unable to speak, press 5 twice and the police will take action.

Find out how to keep your online searches private: Cover your tracks online

How we work

At Bede, we talk things through, face to face, with you.

Based in Southwark, we work across the whole borough to help people from all backgrounds build their confidence and live free from abuse. If you are suffering domestic abuse, we can help you to:

  • assess the risk to your safety
  • make a safety plan to protect you, and anyone else close to you who is at risk
  • understand your legal rights
  • know what danger signs to look out for
  • rebuild your confidence
  • sign you up to our Freedom Group and peer support group. These twin programmes are unique to Bede. First, we offer professional assistance to reset your life. You then share ongoing support with other survivors to help sustain your freedom.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members. The abuse can range from physical violence to psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional control. Further issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities include so-called ‘honour’ violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. Victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

We can also offer specialist support to those surviving domestic abuse who are:

  • young people
  • being abused by their child
  • affected by mental health issues
  • without recourse to public funds

Comic Relief commissioned leading artist Rapman to raise awareness about domestic violence. He spoke to women at the Bede Starfish Domestic Abuse Project whose moving stories inspired him to create this 10-minute video.

What you can do next

  • Get in touch for a confidential chat.
  • Join one of our support groups for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Arrange to receive counselling.

Contact us

If you, or if someone you know, is at immediate risk of physical violence, dial 999.

In a non-emergency, dial 101 to speak to the Metropolitan Police.

Contact Bede: Ending Domestic Abuse

Email us:

Call: 020 7237 9162

Our office is open from 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. For out-of-hours emergencies, please contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Contact Bede Starfish Domestic Abuse Project.

A woman in a canoe rows forward into a brighter future - the aim of our programme Bede: Ending Domestic Abuse.

Stories to inspire

Meet some of the many brave women and men who have broken free of domestic abuse. They share their stories, and their strength, to inspire you to reach out to your Bede House friends.

J, a young mother with multiple disabilities, suffered physical and mental abuse. Her husband neglected her health needs and accused her of failing as a wife and mother. Her confidence dissolved and she blamed herself. When he physically assaulted her in front of their children she was taken to hospital. Staff there alerted the police who in turn contacted Bede. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions we worked to remove the perpetrator from J’s home. We immediately addressed a wide range of needs, from changing the door locks to organising a network of daily help. J is now living safely with her children, who she cares for independently, and her health has much improved.

K would not hear from her drug addict ex-partner for months. Then, suddenly, he would turn up at her home, demanding money and access to their children. She dare not challenge him for fear of physical violence. Bede arranged for him to be served a non-molestation order, and also provided ongoing support to help K live free from fear. Safe from the perpetrator’s threats, K is now flourishing and is studying for a degree.

J was nervous about contacting Bede. As a man, he thought we would not believe him and might even assume that he was the abuser. We explained that we are here for everyone. His partner abused him verbally and psychologically. When he tried to leave her she threatened to cite him as the perpetrator – a threat she carried out when we contacted the police. We supported J, helped him to move to a safe address and provided counselling to rebuild his life.

G had tried to leave her abusive partner many times but he manipulated the children to convince her to stay. When he attacked her and police were summoned his behaviour was so aggressive he was tasered and arrested. G was so frightened of him that she declined to press charges. Bede therefore had to act quickly, before he was released from custody. We swiftly helped G and her children move to emergency accommodation with a system of continued support. She and her family now enjoy a new, safe life.

Our Bede Choir sings ‘Stronger’

During the 2020 lockdown Strictly singer Hayley Sanderson joined Bede domestic abuse survivors to form a joyful choir. Together their voices created an uplifting charity cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Stronger’. Recorded on their phones, in their homes, the single helped support survivors and build confidence during this difficult time. It also raised much-needed funds for both Bede and national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid during a period when domestic homicides more than doubled.

The single includes an original rap from local artist and Bede youth worker Yaz. His powerful words share the impact on child survivors of domestic abuse.

Two smiling cartoon figures help to market the release of a cover of Britney Spears' song Stronger. Made by Bede Choir Domestic Abuse survivors, Strictly Come Dancing star Hayley Sanderson and music professionals, their aim is to raise funds for them and Women’s Aid to help end domestic abuse

You can still listen to ‘Stronger’, view the accompanying video – and donate to this inspiring endeavour.  Remember, if you are experiencing domestic abuse, you are not alone. Contact us for support and let us help you live without fear. 

Together we are Stronger

Special thanks to:

Animator: Katie Lloyd

Rapper: Yaz

Vocalists: Bede Choir

Pro Choir: Hayley Sanderson, Michelle John, Annabel Williams, Tor Hills, Lucy Potterton, Roo Savill, Albert Green

Music team: Danny Sharples

Barnaby Dickinson

Jim Knight

And the many others who supported, encouraged and gave their time so freely.

The song was written by Max Martin and Rami Yacoub

Horus Music is claiming royalties on behalf of the song and the video.

Thank you to our funders

Bede: Ending Domestic Abuse is supported by City Bridge Trust, Henry Smith Charity and United St. Saviours.