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.

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.

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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.

Thank you to our funders

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