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Sexual health information and services for young people

Sexual Health advice

Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of pressure, discrimination and violence.

Unity Sexual Health

Unity Sexual Health is the name of the new specialist sexual health service covering South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset.

They provide free and confidential sexual health services on a drop-in or appointment basis within South Gloucestershire and surrounding areas. Some clinics are specifically (or especially suited to) for young people.

To make an appointment or to speak to someone for advice phone 0117 342 6900 or visit the website for information on sexual health services in the South Gloucestershire area. Whether you are a young person (including under 16s) or adult, doctors and nurses at your local GP practice can give you confidential information about sexual health, pregnancy and abortion. They can also provide contraception and/or testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Young people can also talk confidentially to a public health nurse in their school about relationships and sexual health.

Emergency contraception (the morning after pill)

If you have had unprotected sex and want to reduce the risk of becoming pregnant you will need to use emergency hormonal contraception (the morning after pill). This is available free from local pharmacies to those aged 24 and under (including under 16s). Emergency hormonal contraception is also available free for people of any age from your GP practice and all Unity sexual health clinics. Emergency hormonal contraception should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex but can be taken up to 5 days after. If more than 5 days have passed since unprotected sex, you should still seek advice by visiting a Unity sexual health clinic or phoning 0117 342 6900.

Free condoms

South Gloucestershire operates a free condom distribution scheme called C.Card. The C.Card scheme is a confidential service designed to enable those aged 13 to 19 to get access to free condoms, sexual health advice and signposting or referral to additional sexual health services. You first need to register for a c.card which involves a consultation with a trained worker and will include learning how to use condoms safely.

The C.Card scheme is available at many schools, all SGS College sites and any GP practice or pharmacy displaying this logo

Consent

Sex should be enjoyable and must always be agreed to by everyone involved. Giving consent means saying ‘yes’, freely, without being forced and without being concerned or worried about what will happen if you say ‘No’. Consenting to one sexual act doesn’t mean you have consented to other forms of sexual activity. Giving consent might also be done by using body language which shows the other person that you are enjoying yourself and are happy and comfortable, equally body language that shows you are not happy means you are not consenting.

It is important to remember that you always have a right to say no and/or to withdraw your consent at any time. It doesn’t matter who the other person is, what your relationship with them is, how far you’ve gone with them or others in the past.

Physical, emotional and psychological pressure may be used to force someone else into sexual activity. Just because someone does not hold you down and make you engage in a sexual act against your will or if you do not say ‘no’, it does not mean you have consented.

Any sort of sexual contact without consent is illegal, whatever the age of the people involved.

If consent is NOT given (to any sort of sexual activity) then this is classed as rape or sexual assault. This can include sexual touching, oral, anal or vaginal sex with a penis or with any other type of object.

Sexual violence and abuse

Hurting someone, using threatening or manipulative behaviour, controlling someone, or forcing someone to do something they have not agreed to is not legal or acceptable, whether in a relationship or not. If you or someone you know has experienced this type of abuse or violence please report it and get help.

Call 999 if a crime is happening now or you or someone is in immediate danger.

Safelink provide independent support for anyone (women, men, or children) who has been the victim of rape and sexual abuse across the whole of Avon and Somerset area. You do NOT have to report to the police to access our services. We also provide women’s mental health and domestic abuse support services.

SARSAS (Somerset & Avon Rape & Sexual Abuse Support) is a support service for people who have experienced sexual violence at any point in their life.

Women and girls, call 0808 801 0456
Office hours:

  • Monday and Friday, 11am to 2pm
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 6pm-8.30pm

Men and boys, call 0808 801 0464
Office hours:

  • Monday, 11am to 2pm
  • Tuesday, 6pm-8.30pm

Kinergy counselling service

Kinergy is a registered charity offering counselling up to 24 weeks, group work and a monthly support group to men and women who are survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Based in Kingswood, Kinergy works with people from the surrounding areas – predominantly South Gloucestershire and Bristol, and people travel from as far as Bath and North East Somerset.

Kinergy has over 20 years of experience in providing specialist trauma informed counselling. They recognise the deep and far reaching effects of sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse. There is a deep understanding of how sexual abuse and childhood sexual abuse can affect all areas of a person’s life and the aim is to provide a safe, accepting and supportive environment, where people can come to terms with the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future.

Kinergy also provides counselling through the iaptus referral pathway (NHS) as a specialist counselling agency step 3.

To find out more about these services call 0117 908 7712 or email: contact@kinergy.org.uk

Everyone has the right to be treated with respect including in sexual relationships. A wide range of confidential sexual health services is available in South Gloucestershire for all ages, sexualities and communities. Go to the Unity website for further information.

Survivor Pathway

The survivor pathway is an online resource for ANYONE wanting to know more about specialist violence support services.

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