Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Support Service (SIDAS)
Somerset Council commissions the specialist domestic abuse support service for the county. This is called the Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service (SIDAS).
How do you contact SIDAS?
The local helpline number is 0800 69 49 999.
The email is SIDAS@somerset.gov.uk.
The local domestic abuse website is www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk (a live-chat facility is being developed and will be in place over the coming months).
What To Do If Someone Is Experiencing Domestic Abuse?
· Please support them to access SIDAS. They may not be aware of its existence. How they can access support will depend on their circumstances.
· They may need/welcome a safe space to contact SIDAS, and if you can provide that it will be invaluable.
· Alternatively they may need reassurance that they will be believed, treated seriously and can access confidential help, and can access SIDAS.
· If they are in an emergency situation, always call the Police or other emergency services on 999.
Please see the information below about who can access the SIDAS services:
Who Can Be a Client?
· People of any gender aged 16 years and over (in accordance with the Domestic Abuse Act, domestic abuse is when both a victim or perpetrator of domestic abuse are aged 16 years or over.) This is where they are a perpetrator of abuse, or a victim.
· Children aged under 18 years who have witnessed domestic abuse.
· Where a child aged under 16 years behaves in a way that could constitute domestic abuse, this is a child protection issue. This is whether they are behaving this way to their parent, or to a partner, or relative. In instances where Children’s Social Care or another relevant agency request support in developing safety plans for an adult experiencing violence and abuse from a child, then the specialist service should assist with this.
· All those who need specialist support, irrespective of protected characteristics, can access support with SIDAS. SIDAS are also required to ensure accessibility, irrespective of whether those seeking support have multiple needs (for example, people may have a combination of mental health issues, substance misuse, offending history and so on).
· Victims of any risk level can seek support. Those who have experienced domestic abuse historically, but where it is affecting their life now, can also seek support.
What sort of support can be offered?
· Support can be provided on a 1-2-1 basis or in groups. This is dependent on the type of intervention required for an individual.
· Advice can also be obtained at “drop-in” centres across the county. Please contact SIDAS for current details of these on the details at the top of this email.
· Advice is provided to help all needs, including help with safe housing, legal support and safety planning.
· Volunteering opportunities are offered.
· An Animal Fostering Scheme is being developed to help people who need to keep their animals safe from the effects of domestic abuse. This includes situations where people may need to access safe accommodation (eg refuges) where animals cannot be housed.