Support for survivors

This is a list of support services for survivors based in Britain. If I have missed an organisation off this list please contact me – I am especially keen to hear about groups supporting LGBT+ (and especially trans) survivors, Black survivors and other survivors of colour, sex workers and disabled survivors.

Students and staff members at universities requiring support may (or may not) want to approach their institution first: some universities have very good support systems and some do not. Survivors can also approach their union, whether this is a Students’ Union or NUS, or staff unions such as UCU, UNISON or UNITE. The 1752 Group can provide advice especially on staff sexual misconduct.

Here are some more general support services for survivors, whether in higher education or not:

Rape Crisis – support for survivors of sexual violence and abuse, usually for women and girls but different Centres have different provision so do check. You can find your local Centre in England and Wales here, and in Scotland here.

Survivors’ Network – support for all self-identifying women (sex worker affirmative) – based in Brighton but with a helpline. They also run the Trans Survivors Switchboard for non-binary and trans survivors (which is also sex worker affirmative).

Sexual Assault Referral Centres provide 24-hour services to survivors of rape or sexual assault regardless of whether they want to report to the police. You can find your local Centre here.

The Survivors’ Trust has a list of support services for people who have experienced rape, sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse, in local areas throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Find the list here.

Women’s Aid is a federation of 180 organisations providing support for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. They have a freephone 24-hour national helpline, an online survivors’ forum and The Hideout (which is for children experiencing domestic abuse). Their directory of local domestic violence services is here. Welsh Women’s Aid and Scottish Women’s Aid are explicitly trans-inclusive.

Refuge – support for women and children who have experienced all forms of abuse, including domestic violence, sexual violence, ‘honour’-based violence, and trafficking. They have a helpline and a range of other services – information can be accessed here and here.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is run in partnership by Refuge and Women’s aid – for survivors as well as family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. Support and advice is provided as well as referrals to refuges and outreach workers.

Here are some sex worker-specific services: Confide provides support for sex workers of all genders. Sex workers can also contact the National Ugly Mugs scheme or Ugly Mugs Ireland. Ugly Mugs Ireland also have a directory of sex worker-friendly services in Ireland and Scotland here. For sex workers in Scotland, SCOT-PEP has a directory of services here.

There are a number of services for LGBTQI+ survivors. Galop provide support for LGBT+ survivors of hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence, and also support survivors who have had problems with the police. Information about domestic abuse services is here, sexual violence services here and hate crime support here. LGBT Switchboard is a national helpline that can connect survivors to services. The Bi Survivors Network runs fortnightly online chats. Fearless provides support for LGBTQI+ people and straight/cis men in Scotland who have experienced domestic abuse.

Southall Black Sisters give support to Black women and other women of colour who have experienced domestic and other gender-based violence. Against Rape is the joint website of the Black Women’s Rape Action Project and Women Against Rape. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy for women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence. Hersana offers support for Black femme survivors of gendered violence, and is explicitly trans-inclusive. The Angelou Centre offers a range of holistic women-only services for black and minoritised women across the North East, and is also explicitly trans-inclusive. Imkaan do not offer direct support, but have a list of organisations here which support Black women and other women of colour who have experienced sexual and domestic violence. BAWSO offer support to Black survivors and survivors of colour in Wales. Shakti Women’s Aid offer support to Black women, women of colour and children in Scotland experiencing domestic abuse. The Muslim Women’s Network provides support for Muslim women experiencing or at risk of abuse.

There are a number of services for disabled people. Disabled Survivors Unite is a UK-based, user-led organisation creating change for survivors of abuse and sexual violence. Respond provide support for neurodiverse children and adults who have experienced abuse and/or trauma (all genders). DeafHope offer support to Deaf people experiencing domestic abuse. Stay Safe East supports Deaf and disabled survivors of hate crime, domestic and sexual abuse (casework in Waltham Forest and Newnham areas of London only).

There are some services specifically for men. Survivors UK provides support for men who have been sexually abused. Respect Men’s Advice Line gives support to men experiencing domestic violence.