Who to contact in an emergency
Southall Black Sisters do not provide a 24-hour emergency service. If you need help out of hours (9-5pm) we advise you to contact the police on 999 or one of the emergency helplines listed below.
If you are using our services and have a case with us we will continue to work with you out-of-hours if necessary, to ensure your safety.
Calling the Police
Domestic violence is a crime. If there has been an incidence of violence or harassment or a threat of violence or harm made against you or someone you know, dial 999 (minicom 0800 112 999).
In an emergency, a police officer or officers should come to you immediately. In non-emergency situations, depending on the circumstances, a male or female officer may come to see you initially. Most forces have specially trained police officers attached to a specialised Domestic Violence Unit or Community Safety Unit. You should ask the officer for his or her name and badge number. Once the initial risk to your safety is over, if you prefer, you can ask to speak to a female officer. The police should also provide you with an interpreter if necessary.
If there is no immediate threat but you wish to report a crime of violence, we can help you contact the police and we may be able to go with you to the police station to report the incident or advise on the matter.
Once you have reported a violent or threatening incident to the police, a full statement will be taken and the police will investigate the matter and gather all the information in order for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the person who abused/harassed you. Often the police will ask you if you agree to support a criminal prosecution (pressing charges). If you don’t want the police to press charges they usually won’t but you should think about this carefully and obtain more advice before making a decision.
For more information on being a witness in a criminal prosecution, you can contact the police officer dealing with the case. You can also contact us or your local Domestic Violence or Community Safety Unit or your local Victim Support Group.
National and Regional Helplines:
Contact the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge: 0808 2000 247 (with a minicom service and language-line facility)
Refuge Crisis Line (London wide): 0870 599 5443.
BAWSO (For black women in Wales who are victims of domestic abuse) Free 24hr helpline: 0800 7318147
Scottish Women’s Aid Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234 (24 hours)
Shakti Women’s Aid (For black/minority ethnic women in Scotland who are victims of domestic abuse) 0131 475 2399
Victim Support call 0845 30 30 900
Shelter, for housing advice: 0808 800 4444
Samaritans: 08457 909090 – The Samaritans are a nationwide charity which provides 24-hour confidential emotional support for anyone in crisis.
National Child Protection Helpline (NSPCC): 0800 8005000 – This is a free, confidential service for anyone concerned about children at risk, including children themselves. The service offers counselling, information and advice.
Your local Social Services Emergency Duty Team.
Your local Homeless Persons After Hours Unit Team.
Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), Foreign Commonwealth Office Advice on forced marriages: 020 7008 0151.