The Bridge is the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for Avon and Somerset

The Bridge offer medical care, emotional and psychological support, and practical help to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. People can access us directly or through a professional whether the assault happened recently or at any time in the past. Anyone who reports sexual violence to the police will be referred to us for support. We listen, believe and inform the client so they can make choices about what to do next.

We can provide this initial support over the telephone or arrange a time for a face to face session with a Crisis Worker. We know that rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone, that the context can be complicated, and that people respond to this kind of violence in different ways. Our aim is to begin the process of restoring power to the client by giving them choices and helping them to think about accessing medical care, practical support and counselling.     

Our services include provision of a forensic medical examination where samples are taken which may provide evidence if there is a police investigation.  If the client is unsure about reporting to the police, we store the samples, giving them time and space to decide what they want to do. We also provide emergency contraception and HIV PEPSE where relevant. Referrals are offered for sexual health follow-up at the client’s local Sexual Health Clinic and for support from an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser.   

Our free, specialist counselling service is available to clients aged 11 upwards and we hold clinics in Bristol, Bath, Weston-Super-Mare, Bridgwater and Taunton. 

Professionals can also contact us for advice and information about what to do next if someone discloses that they have been raped or sexually assaulted.

We are available 24/7, 365 days a year on 0117 342 6999. Help and advice are also available on our website www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk.