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Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is a widespread problem and is still mostly a hidden crime. In the UK every week two women are killed by their current or ex-partner and it is estimated that there are at least 100,000 victims at high risk of serious harm or murder.

Prevalence. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) about 4.2% of men and 7.9 % of women suffer domestic abuse in the UK during 2018. This equates to about 685,000 male victims and 1,300,000 women.

Although women are the majority of victims, men also can experience domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can be seen in teenage relationships, too; it is estimated that there are at least 3,500 young people at high risk of serious domestic abuse in the UK today.

What is Domestic Abuse?

The government’s definition is “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”

Abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional and can include stalking or harassing, in person or on mobile phones or other social media and also using tracking devises on your phone or car. It includes so-called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Can domestic abuse affect children?

The answer is yes. In most families where there is domestic abuse children will be aware of it and may even hear or see it happening. It is thought at least 160,000 children live in households where serious abuse is taking place. Based on national figures, it is estimated that 6,500 children are exposed to domestic abuse each year in East Sussex

Most children will be affected in some way by what they see, hear or know about. They may feel angry, guilty, alone, frightened or powerless. This might show up as anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, bed wetting, self-harm or problems at school. Children could learn behaviours they see in their family members; they might learn that violence is an acceptable form of behaviour.

What can you do if you experience domestic abuse?

Phone 999 if you or someone else is in danger and ask for the Police.

Help available in East Sussex:

Safe in Sussex – phone 0330 333 7416

Safe in Sussex has three refuges that provide safe temporary accommodation for women and their children escaping domestic abuse.

Refuges -24hr referral number for East Sussex Refuges – phone 07795 968 400
There are five refuges in East Sussex. Accommodation is usually a private bedroom for the woman and her children and shared bathrooms, lounge, kitchens, laundry, garden, etc., although the Eastbourne refuge offers self-contained flats. Accommodation is of a good standard, and bedding, towels, cooking equipment, and emergency provisions are provided. Self-referrals as well as agency referrals are accepted. The telephone referral and assessment process is quick, with admission usually on the same day.

Sussex Police – phone 101 when it is not an emergency

Change Grow Live (CGL)  -provides information, advocacy and practical and emotional support to women and men living with domestic abuse and violence in the East Sussex area. Their aim is to support people in making informed choices, helping victims find out what their options are, including housing, safety and legal issues and guidance through the court process. They also put you in touch with other organisations that may be able to address your concerns, including refuge accommodation and sanctuary schemes.

Change Grow Live’s Community Independent Domestic Violence Advisors Service (IDVAs) provides practical and emotional support to women and men.

Please visit The Portal website which is a partnership of leading Sussex Domestic and Sexual Abuse Charities led by RISE and including Survivors’ Network and Change Grow Live.

The Portal provides a single point of contact for victims and survivors of domestic or sexual abuse and violence, helping them to find the right help, advice and support. The Portal can also give advice and support to friends, families and professionals.

Telephone: Freephone 0300 323 9985




  • Men’s Advice Line – phone 0808 801 0327 9a.m. to 5p.m. Mon-Fri or
    Confidential helpline for men who experience violence from their partners or ex-partners
  • Respect – phone 0808 802 4040 Mon-Fri  m. to 5 p.m.
    Information and advice line for anyone who is violent and/or abusive towards their partner
  • Karma Nirvana – provide support to men and women who are victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage. Helpline Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm Tel: 0800 5999 247
  • National LGBT domestic Violence Helpline – Mon & Thurs 10am-8pm, Tues, Wed & Fri 10am-5pm Tel: 0800 999 5428 e:
  • Lotus Domestic Abuse Programme through Home Start East Sussex – The programme helps women to draw on and recognise their own strengths and community support, helping them to identify early warning signs and break the cycle of abuse.
  • If you are looking for support for yourself, please submit an Enquiry Form or phone/text 07505 426118 to arrange a friendly, sensitive and confidential chat.
  • Housing Options Teams in East Sussex – Your local authority will explain your housing options. This may mean they can help you to stay safe in your own home or help you to find accommodation.
  • Eastbourne Borough Council‘s Customer First team: 01323 410000
  • Hastings Housing Options Team – phone 01424 451 212
  • Lewes District Council‘s Customer First team – phone 01273 47160030 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Mon-Fri
  • Rother Housing Options Team – phone 01424 787 999
  • Wealden Housing Options Team – phone 01323 443 501 or 01323 443362
  • Shelter – phone 0808 800 4444 – Free national helpline for housing advice Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat and Sun 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Victim Support Sussex– Supports victims to cope with the effects of crime, including support through criminal procedures- 0808 168 9274. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. If you need support outside of our open hours, call our Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support via our website.
  • Rights of Women Legal Advice Line – phone 0207 251 6577
    Free, confidential legal advice for women by women
  • Migrant Helpline – phone 01424 461 225
    Support and advice for asylum seekers and refugees living in East Sussex