Maidstone Domestic Abuse Directory 2021


What this directory is about

This information pack is about domestic abuse, what you can do about it and where to get help, advice and support. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, then this pack may be of use. This pack is for anyone who is in an abusive relationship, including men and people in same sex relationships.

Domestic abuse includes any form of physical, sexual abuse, rape, threats and intimidation. Intimidation can be mental or verbal abuse, humiliation, deprivation, regular criticism and belittling.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please remember:

  • You are not the only one
  • You are not to blame
  • You cannot change your abuser’s behaviour
  • Ignoring violence is dangerous
  • Break the silence – don’t remain isolated
  • There is life after an abusive relationship

The Maidstone Domestic Abuse Forum has worked in partnership to produce this information directory.

10th Edition March 2021

Introduction

Domestic abuse is largely underreported, but research from the Office of National Statistics and data from the National Government Crime Survey for England and Wales (November 2019) shows that in the UK:

  • In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men).
  • Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone
  • The police recorded 746,219 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2019, an increase of 24% from the previous year.
  • The police made 32 arrests per 100 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2019, equating to 214,965 arrests (in the 39 police forces that supplied data).
  • On average the police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour. (HMIC, 2015)
  • 20% of children in the UK have lived with an adult perpetrating domestic violence - NSPCC (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today, Research into the prevalence of child maltreatment in the United Kingdom

This handbook has been written in an accessible and easy to read format. The handbook comprises short sections covering every aspect of seeking help and support. It includes understanding domestic abuse and its effects on children and contains practical advice to make yourself and your children safe, useful telephone numbers and agency details.

The guide has been compiled to ensure that all agencies have access to full and accurate information about services and resources available within Maidstone Borough Council. We have tried to include all organisations which serve the Borough in relation to domestic abuse and who wishes to be included. If you are an agency working in an area of domestic abuse and would like to be included in future editions of the handbook, or you wish to amend your published details, please contact: communityprotection@maidstone.gov.uk

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of forceful and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour-based crimes.” Domestic abuse may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’. Violence and abuse can be actual or threatened and may include:

  • Physical, sexual or psychological abuse for example, slapping, pushing, kicking, punching, stabbing, rape, verbal abuse, humiliation, stalking, intimidation, control and coercive behaviours.
  • Financial or emotional deprivation for example, withholding money, not allowing friends to visit or phone calls, keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job, social isolation.
  • The use or threat of using legal sanctions against a partner, for example, threats about the custody of the children, threats of deportation, threats to remove children from care.
  • Denial of rights for example, denial of medical care, physical freedom.

Anyone can be a victim

People suffer domestic abuse regardless of their social group, class, age, race, disability, sexuality or lifestyle and in all kinds of relationships – heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). The abuse can begin at any time – in new relationships or after many years spent together and can happen once every so often or on a regular basis. All forms of abuse

– psychological, economic, emotional and physical – come from the abuser’s desire for power and control of another.

Maidstone One Stop Shop

Open every Tuesday, 9.30 – 11.30am at 74-80 Union St, Maidstone ME14 1ED

Victims of domestic abuse can access all the information they need under one

roof or visit www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk

Remember, you are not to blame

Admitting to yourself and others that you are experiencing domestic abuse may seem difficult, but it is an important step towards getting protection for yourself and your children.

A fleeing checklist can be found at the end of this page

Effects on Children

Domestic abuse can affect children physically, psychologically, emotionally and socially.

Every child is different and may show some or none of the behaviours listed below:

  • Bedwetting, stomach aches, headaches
  • Sleep disturbances, nightmares
  • Anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness and powerlessness
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Tired and lethargic
  • Reduced reaction to loud noises and/or pain
  • Lack of development or regression
  • Aggression – out of control behaviour
  • Difficulties in trusting others
  • Overachiever or underachiever
  • Holding themselves responsible for the abuse and feeling guilty
  • Lack of education due to poor attendance or inability to concentrate

ACE's

The term Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is used to describe a wide range of stressful or traumatic experiences that children can be exposed to whilst growing up including being exposed to domestic abuse. These experiences have been linked to:

  • Risk taking behaviours
  • Chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes
  • Low life potential
  • Early death

Safety Planning

It is not your fault. You are not alone. You have the right to live free from fear. Sometimes victims of domestic abuse have to leave home in a hurry. It can help if you make some plans. Making a safety plan is a way of feeling more in control, more positive and confident. This is a suggested plan of action that you can add to or change to suit you:

  • Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use a phone (a neighbour, relative or other contact).
  • Make a list of numbers for an emergency to include friends, relatives and local police (even well-known numbers can be forgotten in a panic). Always carry these with you.
  • Try to save some money for bus, train or taxi fares. Although from March 2020, New ‘rail to refuge’ scheme has been brought into effect which offers free train travel to women fleeing domestic abuse.
  • Have an extra set of keys for your house, flat, car.

If you feel it does not place you in danger

  • Keep a set of keys, money and a set of clothes packed and ready in bag that you can quickly take.
  • Explain to your children (if they are old enough to understand) that you might have to leave in a hurry.

If your children are old enough and are aware of the risks, explain the safety plan and discuss your emergency plan as well as safe words.

If you have more time to plan to leave, do as much of the following as possible:

  • Leave when your abuser is not around.
  • Take all your children with you.
  • Take your legal and financial papers, marriage and birth certificates, court orders, national health cards, passports, driving licence, child benefit books, address book, bank books, chequebooks, credit cards and so on.
  • Take any of your personal possessions, which have sentimental value – photographs or jewellery for example.
  • Take favourite toys for the children.
  • Take clothing for at least several days.
  • Take any medicine you or your children might need.
  • If you have pets and are worried they may not be looked after if left behind, try to arrange for someone to care for them. An animal charity such as The Freedom Project from Dogs Trust may be able to help. Be aware of microchipping as perpetrators can use details to trace new addresses.
  • If you do leave and realise that you have forgotten something, you can always arrange for the protection of a police escort so you can return home to collect it safely.

Why Leave? Why Stay?

People stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. Not everyone recognises that what is happening to them is domestic abuse and may believe that the abuse is normal and acceptable. Many victims of abuse may find it very difficult to leave. Contributing factors, that may cause an abused person to remain with, or return to, their abusive partner and can include:

  • Fear of retaliation
  • Economic and emotional dependency
  • Feelings for their partner
  • Isolation
  • Low self esteem
  • Social stigma
  • Beliefs about marriage
  • Children
  • Pets and personal items
  • Fear of homelessness
  • Transport difficulties
  • Guilt

Many of these fears will be eased by talking to someone in confidence. A list of agencies below will be able to support with the barriers to leaving an abusive relationship. Remember, if you are experiencing abuse, you are not alone.

National Support Agencies

National Domestic Violence Helpline Advice and accommodation. Tel: 0808 2000 247(24hrs)

Men’s Advice Line 0808 8010 327

Victim Support

Information and support to victims of crime. Tel: 08 08 16 89 111

Samaritans

Confidential emotional support for anyone in a crisis. Tel: 116 123

National Centre for Domestic Violence 0800 970 2070

Broken Rainbow

0300 999 5428

(support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people)

Karma Nirvana 0800 5999 247

(Support charity for victims of honour-based violence)

Refuge Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Childline

Tel:0800 11 11 (24hrs)

Web: www.childline.org.uk

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Advice on forced marriage and ‘honour’ crimes.

Tel: 020 7008 01500

Web: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage#how-the-forcedmarriage-unit-can-help

Gingerbread

Support organisation for lone parent families in England and Wales.

Tel: 0207 428 5400

Web: www.gingerbread.org.uk

Immigration Advisory Service

Advice on immigration or asylum issues.

Tel: 0333 305 9375

Web: www.iasservices.org.uk

Legal Aid Agency-Ministry of Justice

Tel: 0300 200 2020

National Survivors Helpline

Tel: 0808 801 0331

Support for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse https://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/national-helplines

Respect

Helpline for people worried about their abusive behaviour towards their partner.

Tel: 0808 802 4040 www.respect.uk.net

Reunite

Support groups for parents of children who have been abducted.

Tel: 0116 255 6234

Web: www.reunite.org

Rights of Women

Works to attain justice and equality by informing, educating and empowering women on their legal rights.

Tel: 020 7251 6577

Web: www.rightsofwomen.org.uk

Domestic Abuse directory of services for Maidstone

Legal

Open

Name of organisation

Berry and Berry Solicitors

Address

3 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone ME16 8RL

Telephone

01622 690777

Email

enquiries@the-solicitors.co.uk

Website

www.the-solicitors.co.uk

Opening times

Monday – Friday: 9am-5pm

Can offer legal advice and assistance on a range of topics including family law issues and injunctions. Public funding (legal aid) is available for those eligible.

Name of organisation

Community Legal Advice

Telephone Helpline:

0845 345 4345

Website

www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice

Opening times

Monday – Friday: 9am-8pm Saturday: 9am-12.30pm

Free legal advice helpline and Civil Legal Advice can supply you with the names of legal advisors and solicitors in your area that specialise in family law.

Name of organisation

Kent Police – Public Protection Unit

Address

Maidstone Police Station, Palace Avenue, Maidstone

ME15 6NF

Telephone

non-emergency: 101 In an emergency: 999

Email

enquiries@kent.pnn.police.uk

Website

www.kent.police.uk

Opening times

Maidstone Police Station Front Counter:

Monday – Saturday: 8am-8pm

Sundays: 10am-6pm

Telephone Enquiries: 24hrs

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse:

  • Police will deal promptly and positively with any   domestic abuse incident that they are called to attend.
  • Police have Domestic Abuse Officers and other experts   who can give advice.
  • Children can be victims too – the Public Protection   Unit is there to protect the welfare of children who are the victims of   emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
  • Where necessary, the person responsible for the abuse   will be arrested.
  • Officers will try to take action that will protect   you from further abuse.

Police work closely with other local agencies such as Women’s Refuges, Victim Support, Local Authorities (Councils) and Housing agencies, in order to get the support you need.

Name of organisation

Maidstone Specialist Domestic Violence Court

Address

Maidstone Magistrates Court, The Court House, Palace Avenue, Maidstone ME15 6LL

Telephone

01622 687832

Email

cally@maidstonecab.org.uk

Website

Maidstone Magistrates' Court

Opening times

Monday – Friday: 9am-5pm

Specialist support is available for people who have experienced domestic abuse/violence, whilst the case against the perpetrator proceeds through the criminal justice system.

Individual & Family Support

Open

Name of organisation

Choices Domestic Abuse Service – KIDAS linked

Address

39-48 Marsham St, Maidstone ME14 1HH

Telephone

0800 917 9948

Email

info@choicesdaservice.org.uk

Website

www.choicesdaservice.org.uk

Opening times

Monday to Friday: 9am to 4.30pm

Choices is an independent specialist domestic abuse charity offering a range of supportive and preventative services to those affected by domestic abuse.

Name of organisation

Clarion Domestic Abuse Support Service – KIDAS lead provider

Telephone

08002800367

Email

supported.housing@clarionhg.com

Clarion’s Domestic Abuse Support Line:

07376637069 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday).

Website

www.myclarionhousing.com

Clarion's Domestic Abuse service offers support to help people experiencing domestic abuse stay safe. We work with our clients to provide and encourage choice and independence to help them build the life they want to lead free from abuse.
For women who are at risk and not able to remain living at home our 11 refuges offer secure accommodation for up to 80 women and their children across Kent and Medway.  Clarion has a specialist officer who can provide dedicated support for clients in refuge with complex support needs.
Our community outreach service provides free and confidential advice, over the phone or in a mutually agreed safe public place or if assessed as safe at the client's home. Support is available to men, women and transgender people over the age of 16 affected by domestic abuse.  This can include forced marriage, honour-based violence, coercive control, stalking and harassment.
Support in the above services includes:

- safeguarding, risk management and safety planning

- assistance with legal issues including seeking court orders and access to professional legal advice

- support with child / parenting issues and access to children's education

- signposting to counselling and therapeutic services

- providing housing support and advice and support to manage a tenancy

- debt and money management advice

- facilitating access to primary healthcare

- access to Freedom Programme / Recovery Toolkit / Phoenix Programme

- support and advice with adult education, volunteering and employment opportunities

Clarion cont’d

Clarion's Independent Domestic Advisor (IDVA) service is a confidential crisis- led intervention service for high risk victims of domestic abuse.  Our IDVA's work with clients from the point of crisis and support them to access services to keep themselves and their children safe. Support includes:

- safeguarding, risk management and safety planning

- assistance with legal issues including seeking court orders and access to professional legal advice

- providing a single point of contact when more than one support agency is involved

- signposting to other specialist support services

- facilitating access to counselling, Freedom Programme / Recovery Toolkit / Phoenix Programme

Clarion's Hospital IDVA project is delivered by our partners Rising Sun Domestic Abuse Project at the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust  (William Harvey Hospital) and at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust (Darent Valley Hospital).   Based in the emergency department of each hospital, this project provides emergency domestic abuse support to victims arriving at the hospital. And support to emergency department staff and health practitioners to increase understanding and awareness of DA and its impact.

- risk management, support, advice, safety planning and onward referral to other services.

- working closely with key departments in each hospital including A&E / Emergency staff, Safeguarding teams, Maternity and Paediatric departments.

- providing training to NHS colleagues in relation to domestic abuse especially in respect of coercive control and making safe enquiry

- acting as a link between the hospital and community services ensuring those accessing the service in a clinical environment have the onward support they need when they leave the hospital.

Name of organisation

Victim Support

Telephone

General Enquiries Victim Care Unit: 0845 389 9528 Advice Support line: 0845 30 30 900

Email

vs.kent@victimsupport.org.uk

Website

www.victimsupport.org

Opening times:

Victim Care Unit: Mondays – Fridays: 8am-8pm

Support line: Mondays – Fridays: 9am-9pm Weekends: 9am-7pm

Victim Support is the national charity which helps people affected by crime in England and Wales. We give free and confidential support to help you deal with what you’ve been through as a victim or witness, whether you report the crime to the police. If you do want to talk, our trained volunteers are there to listen. Our local Victim Support branches can give you and your family and friends information and support. And if you are going to court, our Witness Service can help before, during and after the trial.

Name of organisation

Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (KIDAS)

Telephone

0808 168-9111

Email

Support can be accessed by contacting Victim Support for assessment and referral to your local service via the phone number below or the Live Chat facility.

Website

You can also create a free account on My Support Space, an online resource containing interactive guides to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.

Opening times

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

The Kent Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (KIDAS) offer a person centred, holistic range of support services to victims and their families in Kent, with support available including;

*             Safe refuge accommodation

*             Specialist Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) support

*             Community Outreach Services

*             Therapeutic and group programmes (e.g. Freedom Programme)

*             Sanctuary provision (adaptations to make the home safer)

*             Assistance with legal issues including seeking court orders and access to legal advice.

*             Emergency welfare assistance for clients in crisis (food, energy, travel)

Support can be accessed by contacting Victim Support for assessment and referral to your local service via the phone number below or the Live Chat facility.

You can also create a free account on My Support Space, an online resource containing interactive guides to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.

Name of organisation

Maidstone Mediation

Address

Community Support Centre, Marsham Street, Maidstone ME14 1HH

Telephone

01622 692843

Email

maidstonemediation@gmail.com

Website

www.maidstonemediation.co.uk

Contact name:

Annette Hinton

Opening times

Monday – Friday: 10am-4pm

Domestic violence has an impact on children – our parent/teen mediation can help.

Name of organisation

The Salvation Army, Maidstone Corps

Address

74-80 Union Street, Maidstone ME14 1ED

Telephone

01622 681808

Email

maidstone@salvationarmy.org.uk

Website

www.salvationarmy.org.uk/maidstone

Contact name:

Majors Grayson, Janice Williams or Lynne Clifton

Opening times

Open every day

Offers counselling and support to help parents and children recover from their experiences and start their lives afresh.

Name of organisation

Maidstone Children’s Centre’s

Address

The Meadow Children’s Centre, Furfield Close, ME15

9JR (This is the hub, but there are various centres are across Maidstone)

Telephone

03000 412700

Email

MeadowsChildrensCentre@kent.gov.uk

Website

Kent County Council Children's centres

Opening times

Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm

Universal and preventative services. Services available include stay & plays, health clinics, parenting programmes, food banks, Early Help Worker support. Early Help facilitates the Freedom Programme. A 14 -week course that helps female survivors of domestic abuse recognise tactics, look at beliefs of perpetrators and the impact on women and their children. Freedom is designed to build self-esteem and help to move on from abuse in a healthy way. The programme is free to attend and childcare may be available.

For more information, please contact your local

Children’s Centre or email maidstoneccfreedom@kent.gov.uk

Name of organisation

CXK

Address

The Old Court, Tufton Street, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1QN

Telephone

01233 224244

Email

info@cxk.org.uk

Website

www.cxk.org.uk

CXK is an impartial information, advice and guidance service for 13-19-year olds. It also supports young people up to the age of 25 who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Name of organisation

Princess Project

Address

Christ Church, Wallis Ave, Maidstone ME15 9JW

Telephone

07851 196770

Email

princessproject@hotmail.co.uk

Website

www.princessproject.co.uk

The Princess Project is a registered charity based in Maidstone, Kent, in the South East of England. The Princess Project run a number of projects to help support parents, from running drop-in coffee mornings, parenting courses and a befriending service for young mums, to providing gift boxes to new mothers and running Totcycle, a baby goods exchange.

Name of organisation

Digital Front Door for Children’s Social Work Team and Early Help

Telephone

03000 41 11 11

Opening times:

9am-5pm

Out of hours:

03000 41 91 91

Email address:

Frontdoor@kent.gov.uk

Website

www.kelsi.org.uk/special-education-needs/integrated-childrens-services/front-door

We provide a wide range of support to Kent’s children and young people across Early Help and Preventative Services and Children’s Social Work Services.  We also work with a number of partner organisations to make sure we can deliver the best possible outcomes for children.

Name of organisation

Child’s Vision

Address

Floor 2, Room 1, GHL House, 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone ME15 4DZ ME10 4PB

Telephone:

Free Confidential Helpline:

01622 244537

0800 470 22 22 Mon – Fri 9am-6pm

Opening times:

Monday-Friday 9am-4pm

E-mail:

office@childsvision.co.uk

Website

www.childsvision.co.uk

Kent based charity supporting children who have witnessed or been directly affected by Domestic Abuse. We provide 1:1 support in schools, facilitate the NSPCC DART programme and run a support group.

Name of organisation

Dandelion Time

Address

Elmscroft /Charlton Lane, Maidstone ME15 0NY

Telephone:

01622 814001

Opening times:

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

E-mail:

info@dandeliontime.org.uk

Website

www.dandeliontime.org.uk

Dandelion Time works with the child and the wider family, believing that family relationships and bonds are vital in helping a child overcome their difficulties and are often a key factor in their issues.

Name of organisation

The Hideout

Website

www.thehideout.org.uk

Interactive site for children who have experienced domestic abuse.

LGBT Services

Open

Name of organisation

GALOP

Telephone

0800 999 5428

Website

www.galop.org.uk

Opening times

Monday to Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday to Thursday 10:00am - 8:00pm

Galop is the UK’s only specialist LGBT+ anti-violence charity. Our mission is to make life just, fair and safe for LGBT+ people. We provide advice, support and advocacy to people who have experienced hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Galop is an independent organisation and our services are confidential and free.

Men's Services

Open

Name of organisation

Mankind

Address

Flook House, Belvedere Road, Taunton TA1 1BT

Telephone

01823 334244

Email

admin@mankind.org.uk

Website

www.mankind.org.uk

Opening times

Mon-Fri 10am - 4pm and 7pm- 9pm

Housing

Open

The Mankind initiative is a national charity that provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse.

Name of organisation

Respect Men’s Advice Line

Telephone

0808 801 0327

Email

info@mensadviceline.org.uk

Website

www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Advice Line Open:

Monday: 9am – 8pm

Tuesday: 9am – 5pm

Wednesday: 9am – 8pm

Thursday: 9am – 5pm

Friday: 9am – 5pm

The Men’s Advice Line provides a range of services aimed at men experiencing domestic abuse from their partners. This is done by: *          giving men a chance to talk about their experiences

  • providing emotional support
  • providing practical advice
  • focussing on safety planning and reducing risk
  • signposting to a range of services, including housing   and legal options
  • exploring solutions that are focused on the needs of   callers *       using a non-judgemental   approach *   offering a confidential   service.

Name of organisation

Maidstone Borough Council (Housing)

Address

Maidstone House, Kings Street, Maidstone ME15 6JQ

Telephone

General Enquiries: 01622 602000

Email

housingoptions@maidstone.gov.uk

Website

Maidstone Domestic Abuse

Opening times

Monday – Thursday: 8.30am-5pm

Friday: 8.30am-4.30pm

Monday – Friday: Housing Options Drop In available at Gateway 9am-11.30am and 2pm-4pm.

The Council can offer advice on non-molestation and occupancy orders and joint tenancy issues. They can assist with alternative temporary, emergency accommodation for anyone that flees domestic abuse i.e. a refuge and offer advice on a person’s housing options. Maidstone Borough Council also operates a Sanctuary Scheme, which assists with extra security measures when a person wishes to stay in their own property following domestic abuse, regardless of the type of property you live in, e.g. private rented, home-owner, council or association property.

Name of organisation

Golding Homes

Address

County Gate One, Staceys Street, Maidstone ME14 1ST

Telephone

0300 777 2600

Email

help@goldinghomes.org.uk

Website

www.goldinghomes.org.uk

Opening times

Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm

Provide support, information and advice to tenants and their families who are affected by domestic abuse.

Name of organisation

Shelter

Telephone

0808 800 4444

Email

info@shelter.org.uk

Website

England Shelter

Opening times

8am - 8pm on weekdays

9am - 5pm on weekends

Shelter provides outreach and resettlement services to homeless people.

Name of organisation

Porchlight

Address

13 Romney Place, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6LE

Telephone

0800 567 7699

Email

outreach@porchlight.org.uk

Website

www.porchlight.org.uk

Opening times

24/7 Helpline

Working across Kent and the south east, we help vulnerable and isolated people get support with their mental health, housing, education and employment

Name of organisation

Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service

Address

Block G, Chaucer Technology School, Spring Lane, Canterbury CT1 1SU

Telephone

01227 452852

Email

admin@risingsunkent.com

Website

www.risingsunkent.com

Opening times

Monday – Friday: 9:00am-4:30pm

The Rising Sun Domestic Violence Project works with the Canterbury Refuge to provide crisis accommodation and support services for women and children exposed to Domestic Violence.

Name of organisation

Lilysmith House-Riverside

Address

15 Knightrider St, Maidstone ME15 6LP

Telephone

01622 621 210 or 0800 567 7699

Email

admin.lilysmithhouse@riverside.org.uk

Website

www.riverside.org.uk

Opening times

helpline open 24 hours

We transform lives by providing well maintained, good quality affordable housing whilst creating opportunities to increase household income through our programmes of employment, affordable warmth and money advice. Through our housing, care and support services we enable people facing a wide variety of challenging circumstances to lead more resilient and independent lives

Employment and General Advice

Open

Name of organisation

Maidstone Jobcentre Plus (Welfare Benefits)

Address

County Gate One, Staceys Street, Maidstone ME14 1ST

Telephone

Maidstone Jobcentre Plus: 0845 604 3719

Child Benefit Customer Enquiry Line: 0845 302 1444 Income Support Enquiry Line: 0845 608 8626

Website

Maidstone Job Centre Plus

Opening times

Monday – Friday: 8.30am-5pm

Contact the Benefits Agency to find out if you qualify for benefits, how to claim them, how to understand the system, changes that affect your benefit, how they are paid, what to do if your benefit is overpaid and more. If you are on a low income you may be able to claim council tax benefit, housing benefit, income support, energy efficiency grants, extended payment of council tax or housing benefit, local housing allowance, mortgage interest rate on home responsibilities' protection, legal aid, crisis loans, community care grants, budgeting loans, warm front scheme.

Name of organisation

Maidstone Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

Address

2 Bower Terrace, Tonbridge Road, Maidstone ME16 8RY

Telephone

0344 848 7978 & 01622 752 420

Email

advice@maidstonecab.org.uk

Website

www.maidstonecab.org.uk

Opening times

Fusion Café, Parkwood- every other Wednesday 10am-

12pm

Bower Terrace: Wed only, 10am - 4pm

CAB offers specialist advice on welfare benefits, debt and housing issues, as well as general advice on a variety of other issues.

Support for Families After Sexual Assault

Open

Name of organisation

Family Matters

Address

13 Wrotham Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 5JA.

Telephone

01474 537392

Email

admin@familymattersuk.org

Website

www.familymattersuk.org

Opening times

Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

Family Matters is the UKs largest charitable, specialist service provider for child and adult survivors of sexual abuse and rape

Name of organisation

Beech House

Telephone

01622 726461

Email

bh.admin@nhs.net

Website

https://www.beechhousesarc.org/contact-us.html

Opening times

Weekdays, 9am - 5pm

Out of Hours: 0800 133 7432 (24/7 Free Phone)

Beech House SARC offers a comprehensive service for adults and children in Kent and Medway, who have experienced sexual violence or sexual abuse. Our clients can access Beech House via the Police and other professionals, as well as via the self-referral pathway (booking an appointment at the SARC, without the Police).

At our SARC, individuals will be offered support and guidance, a medical assessment/treatment, a forensic examination, and the opportunity of aftercare referrals for support services

Name of organisation

National Survivors Helpline

Telephone

08088 010818

Website

www.thesurvivorstrust.org/national-helplines

Opening times

Monday – Thursday 10:00-21:00 and Friday 10:00-18:00

Stalking & Harassment

Open

Name of organisation

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Telephone

National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300

Email

0845 608 8626

Website

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Opening times

09:30 - 16:00 weekdays, except for Wednesday when it is open 13:00 to 16:00

Are you or someone you know being made to feel harassed or intimidated by the behaviour of another person? Are you unsure what can be done about this person’s behaviour? If you answer yes to any of these questions can you contact the National Stalking Helpline. If you are unsure about whether we can help, then please do call and ask.

Name of organisation

Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service

Address

PO Box 72962, London, N7 1DZ

Telephone

020 3866 4107

Email

info@paladinservice.co.uk

Website

https://paladinservice.co.uk/

Opening times

Phone line is open 9am to 3pm weekdays except for Wednesdays when it is open 10am to 5pm

Paladin is a trauma-informed service established to assist high risk victims of stalking in England and Wales. Our unique team of accredited Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISACs) ensure that high risk victims of stalking are supported and that a coordinated community response is developed locally to keep victims and their children safe.

Name of organisation

Protection Against Stalking

Address

12 Conqueror Court, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 5BH

Email

support@protectionagainststalking.org

Website

http://www.protectionagainststalking.org/

Support victims of stalking and harassment, through provision of information, advice, risk identification and safety planning

Survivors from Black Asian Minority Ethnic Communities

Open

For survivors whose first language isn’t English, there are several websites that offer information and many national agencies may be able to offer a translator to ensure you are fully supported and any additional barrier such as culture or language do not stop you from accessing help. Some useful links and agencies are listed below https://www.riseuk.org.uk/get-help/about-domestic-abuse/bme

- Information available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Polish and Urdu

https://soulmedicine.io/

- Personalised virtual support available in English, Arabic and Urdu

Name of organisation

Karma Nirvana

Telephone

0800 5999 247

Email

Info@karmanirvana.org.uk

Website

https://karmanirvana.org.uk/

Opening times

Phoneline open Monday-Friday 9-5

-  Are you being pressured to get married against your will?

-  Do you fear to bring shame or dishonour on your family?

-  Have you been emotionally or physically abused?

-  Are you confused about what they say scripture demands of you?

-  Do you worry about being disowned?

If you are concerned about any of the above, please call us in confidence. Culture, Religion and Tradition are not an excuse; forced marriage is illegal in the UK.

Name of organisation

The Halo Project

Telephone

01642 683 045

Email

Info@haloproject.org.uk

Website

Halo project

Opening times

Phoneline open Monday-Friday 9-5

The Halo Project Charity is a national project that will support victims of honour-based violence, forced marriages and FGM by providing appropriate advice and support to victims. We will also work with key partners to provide required interventions and advice necessary for the protection and safety of victims.

Name of organisation

Opoka

Telephone

General enquiries: 0117 427 0012

A helpline in Polish: 0300 365 1700

Email

info@opoka.org.uk

Website

Opoka

Opening times

Monday- Friday General enquiries- 9-5 Polish Helpline- 9-1

Opoka is a specialist service working to stop domestic violence against women and children in the Polish community our aims to help create a world free of domestic violence against Polish women and their children where women feel safe, secure and can engage and participate in society.

Name of organisation

Asian Women’s Resource Centre

Telephone

020 8961 6549/ 5701

Email

info@awrc.org.uk

Website

https://www.asianwomencentre.org.uk/

Opening times

Monday-Friday 10-5

Supporting women against gender-based violence

Name of organisation

Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO)

Telephone

020 7920 6460

Website

http://ikwro.org.uk/

Opening times

Monday-Friday 9.30-5.30

IKWRO’s mission is to protect Middle Eastern and Afghan women and girls who are at risk of ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, child marriage, female genital mutilation and domestic violence and to promote their rights

Name of organisation

Jewish Women’s Aid

Telephone

Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 801 0500

DINA Sexual Violence Support Line 0808 801 0656

Email

Domestic abuse: clientsupport@jwa.org.uk Sexual violence: dina@jwa.org.uk

Website

https://www.jwa.org.uk/

Opening times

DA helpline- Monday to Thursday: 9.30am-9.30pm.

Sexual Violence Helpline- Monday: 10am - 12 noon;

1pm - 3pm, Tuesday: 10am - 12 noon; 1pm - 3pm, Thursday: 1pm - 3pm

For Jewish women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence

Name of organisation

Latin American Women’s Aid

Telephone

General enquiries 020 7275 0321 English and Spanish

Support Line- 07534 424 826 English and Portuguese Support Line- 0746 200 3324 (9.30-1)

Email

info@lawadv.org.uk

Website

http://lawadv.org.uk/en/

Opening times

Monday-Friday 9.30-5.30

Latin American Women’s Aid runs the only two refuges in Europe by and for Latin American women and children fleeing gender-based violence. We also offer holistic and intersectional services, providing everything a BME woman needs to recover from abuse and live empowered lives.

We welcome women of all abilities, from any cultural context, ethnicity, social class, religion and sexuality. We are proud to be bisexual, lesbian, queer and trans women inclusive.

Other Services

Open

Name of organisation

We Are With You (Formerly Think Action)

Address

34 Simmonds Rd, Wincheap, Wincheap Industrial

Estate, Canterbury CT1 3RA

Telephone

0300 012 0012

Website

www.wearewithyou.org.uk

Opening times

helpline

Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm Friday 9am-5pm

Name of organisation

Children & Young People Mental Health

Address

Knightrider House, Knightrider Street, Maidstone ME15 6LU

Telephone

01622 356930

Name of organisation

Maidstone Community Mental Health Team

Address

Albion Place Medical Centre 23-29 Albion Place Maidstone Kent ME14 5TS

Telephone

01622 766900

Opening times

Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm

The Maidstone community mental health team provide support and treatment in the community to adults between the ages of 18-65 who are experiencing a mental illness. We provide assessment of their current need and treatment for service users with moderate to severe mental health needs.

Name of organisation

MMK Mind

Address

23 College Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6YH

Telephone

01622 692383

Email

mindhelp@mmkmind.org.uk

Website

www.maidstonemind.org

Opening times

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm

Maidstone & Mid-Kent Mind work in the community to promote social inclusion for people who experience mental health problems. We strive to tackle stigma and discrimination through a number of projects that promote a better understanding of mental health

Name of organisation

West Kent Substance Misuse Team

Address

17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling ME19 4UL

Telephone

01732 525437

Opening times

Telephone line open Monday – Friday: 9am-5pm

Assessment of needs under the NHS and Community Care Act 1993 for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 with issues and concerns related to their drug and/or alcohol use.

Name of organisation

Change Grow Live

Address

Mill House Mill Street Maidstone ME15 6XH

Telephone

0330 128 1113

Email

WestKent.FirstStep@cgl.org.uk

Website

Change Grow Live

Opening times

Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm Thursdays 9.30-8pm

From structured workshops to social activities, we welcome people into our recovery community. We provide support at every stage of your treatment and beyond. We’ll listen to you and your needs and make sure we tailor your care.

Name of organisation

CGL - West Kent Recovery Service Maidstone

Telephone

0844 225 0652 - 24 Hours

The West Kent Recovery Service offers a pathway to recovery for adults who misuse drugs or alcohol. We provide a range of intensive community-based support, treatment and rehabilitation services that are designed to meet your needs and support your family and friends. The service is free and confidential.

It is available to anyone 18 or over who lives in West Kent.

Name of organisation

Hestia

Telephone

020 7378 3100

Website

www.hestia.org/drugs-and-alcohol

We provide recovery focused support and interventions to people with a range of drug and alcohol related dependencies. We empower them to make positive decisions around their addictions and to support them on their journey away from substance dependence.

Name of organisation

We Are With You (formerly Addaction)

Address

Unit H Jubilee Way Faversham ME13 8GD

Telephone

01795 500881

Website

www.wearewithyou.org.uk

This service is for you if you’re under 18, living in Kent and you’re worried about either your drug or alcohol use, or someone else’s that you know.

Checklist for fleeing an abusive relationship

Please be aware that the most dangerous time for someone in abusive relationship or situation is when they are planning to leave or have fled. Escalation in abuse is highest at this point so if you are thinking of making your exit, seek advice if and when it is safe to do so and you can have professional  help to come up with a plan in the safest possible way. The below is a helpful but non exhaustive checklist of how to plan to flee.

TASK

COMPLETED

Identify a safe friend(s) or family member(s) and a safe place to go if you are not accessing a refuge. Create a code word to use with friends, family, or neighbours to let them know you are in danger without the abuser finding out. Be mindful of who knows you’re leaving and where you are going. If you have children, be careful of how much information is shared with them unless they are of appropriate age and can be trusted. Do communicate with the children’s schools(s)

 

Contact Police. If there is an ongoing investigation, let them know what is your forwarding address is and that you are fleeing. The police may want to make a MARAC to MARAC referral to your new area for support.  If there is a risk that the abuser may come to the new property, ask for an alert to be put on to the system for rapid response to any emergency calls.

 

Change your phone number or buy a cheap phone with pay as you go sim card. DO NOT give this number to anyone apart from close family and friends that you can trust.

 

Turn off location devices on your phone & devices such as iPads/tablets/kindle (including signing out of google/ findmyiphone/GPS)

 

Remove yourself from all social media & change email address to something non-descript. Removing your digital footprint is one of the most important things to do.  Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter- Even if you set up a new account with a fake name and photos, abusers can track you down through friends in common. Be mindful of photos of your children being taken and put on friends/family’s social media. Remember- school/work badges on uniforms can be used to identify whereabouts

 

Make a Drs appointment/call your GP. Find out how to get extra medicine or glasses, hearing aids, or other medically necessary items for you or your children.

 

Visit the One Stop Shop for legal advice. If you have time, get legal advice and explore options of non-molestation/prohibited steps orders (every Tuesday 9.30-11.30, Salvation Army, 74 - 80 Union Street, Maidstone ME14 1ED)

 

Protect your online security. Change all passwords to email accounts, banking, online shopping (think Amazon) and security questions and answers as well as your back up phone numbers/ devices

 

Contact your bank - advise them of circumstances in case the abuser attempts to obtain your whereabouts through paper bank statements

 

Collect important documents-

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Financial records, including recent bank statements/   savings/building society
  • Housing documents, such as rental agreements,   mortgage statements
  • Paperwork for your car
  • A written copy of phone numbers or important   addresses in case you cannot get to your phone or address book
  • Children’s red books for health visitors
  • Marriage certificate
  • National Insurance details
 

Contact DVLA - Explain circumstances and change details if needed

 

Speak with Post Office and be aware that redirecting post may be a risk

 

Pack light. Possessions can be replaced, memories can’t. By fleeing you will be making new and happy memories. Safety and wellbeing must come above material goods.

 

Access Support. If you are getting refuged, support will be offered but if not, make sure to speak to local charities, children’s centres, social services and family support for you and your children. Agencies are there to help and to make sure you never have to face your recovery journey alone.

Visit: www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk for local services in Kent, Google domestic abuse services in your new local area or call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on: 0808 2000 247