Domestic violence

Domestic abuse is the threatening or controlling behaviour of a partner. It can be:

  • physical
  • emotional
  • psychological
  • financial
  • sexual

A person who changes their behaviour because they’re frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused.

If you believe a child’s at risk of harm due to domestic abuse, please see worried about a child

Resources for those working with families affected by domestic violence.

If there’s an immediate risk to someone’s safety, please call 999.

Other local support services

Refuge from domestic abuse

If you need to flee domestic abuse, please contact Refuge, or call their free 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Refuge, the national domestic violence charity, provides safe refuge accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence across East Sussex.

Rape and sexual violence

The specialist rape and sexual violence abuse service for Sussex is provided by the Survivors Network. You can contact them via that website, or call them on 01273 203 380.

Stalking and harassment

The specialist stalking advocacy services for Sussex is provided by Veritas Justice. You can contact them via that website, or call them on call them on 01273 234 773.

If you’ve been affected by domestic abuse, stalking or any other crime, you can also visit Safe Space Sussex which provides an online directory of local victim and witness specialist support services as well as information about what happens at each stage of the criminal justice system, helping to ‘demystify’ the process for people when they may be at their most vulnerable.

Request information under Clare’s Law

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is often called ‘Clare’s Law’ after the landmark case that led to it. Clare’s Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them. Make a DVDS application at Sussex Police.

National support services

  • 24-hour Aanchal helpline or call 0797 099 0352 – if English isn’t your first language. Support for women affected by domestic abuse, whatever your background, language, or cultural experience. Helpline staff available to help you in a number of languages, including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Tamil, Bengali.
  • Women’s Aid and the Survivor’s Handbook - provides information for women on a wide range of issues, such as housing, money, helping your children, and your legal rights.
  • Mankind Helpline or call 01823 334244 – helping men escape domestic abuse.
  • Galop or call 0800 999 5428 – for all LGBT+ people who’ve experienced hate crime, domestic abuse or sexual violence.
  • Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service or call 020 3866 4107 – for anyone affected by stalking.
  • NHS – domestic violence and abuse - recognise the different types of domestic violence and abuse – emotional, physical, sexual, and how to get help.