Help with domestic abuse

If someone close to you like a partner, ex-partner or family member hurts you or makes you feel unsafe, it's domestic abuse. Find out where to get help if you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse.

Quick exit

What is domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic abuse 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. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, income, religion, belief, sex, disability, culture or sexual orientation.

This can include, but is not limited to:

  • physical violence
  • controlling behaviour
  • being hurt sexually
  • economic or financial control
  • being stopped from seeing friends or family

Children affected by domestic abuse are also victims whether they were present during violent incidents or not.

You are not alone. Help and support is available.

You can find information on who you can contact if you experience Domestic Abuse  further down this webpage. You can find more information about Domestic Abuse definitions in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is defined as a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour

Coercive behaviour is defined as an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Economic abuse

Economic abuse means any behaviour that may affect a person’s ability to receive, use, or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services. 

If you think you are experiencing any type of abuse, it is important to remember that it is not your fault. If you are unsure but it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You may feel alone and that no-one can help you, but you are not alone and support is available. Speaking to someone about what you are going through can help you to feel less alone and can support you in understanding your options.

How to get help

You can report domestic violence and abuse to the police online, or:

  • phone 101
  • in person at your local police station

Remember if you or someone else is in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.

If it is not safe for you to speak you can use the Silent Solution system - call 999, and if you don’t speak you will be diverted to an automated system. You can then press 55 to be transferred to the local police force.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), or Clare’s Law, is a way to find out if your partner has a history of domestic abuse and may pose a risk to you. Request information under Clare's Law: Make a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) application.

Information on Domestic Abuse services and how to access them 

Refuge: Stonewater 

The Brighton Refuge is a safe space providing accommodation and support for women and their children who are fleeing domestic abuse. They accommodate up to fifteen women (plus their children) in self-contained accommodation, with a specialist staff team.

To refer someone to the refuge

Domestic Abuse Specialist Service: Victim Support 

The Domestic Abuse Specialist Service (DASS) are here to believe and support all survivors and can offer a wide range of support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse. They know that each person’s situation is different and can offer a space to discuss your experiences. They provide advice and information to professionals, as well as to friends, family members or members of the community who are concerned that someone they know may be experiencing abuse. More information can be found on the Victim Support website.

Professionals can refer a client to DASS by sending an email to b&

Survivors, professionals, and friends or family of someone experiencing abuse can call the DASS Helpline on 0300 323 9985 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, or send an email to b&

Brighton & Hove Enhanced Domestic Abuse and Housing Support Service Pathway 

BME Community Capacity Building Worker: Stonewater 

The Black and Minority Ethnic capacity building worker holds local cases for domestic abuse survivors who are navigating the housing system and identify as BME. They work with communities, faith groups and businesses to deliver drop-in sessions, as well as running awareness raising event with the goal of building trust within local communities. 

The referral form can be requested by sending an email to or calling 01293 780419 

Flexible Fund: Brighton & Hove City Council 

The Brighton & Hove Flexible Fund is for survivors affected by domestic abuse who reside in Brighton & Hove. The chief criteria is that the payment is aligned to making a difference to their housing situation. This can include transport costs, rent deposits, white goods and other emergency expenditure at short notice. A victim/survivor does not need to evidence in detail why they need support, but all avenues must be explored before the flexible fund is approached. 

The application form can be requested by sending an email to    

Housing Floating Support/Outreach service: RISE 

The aim of this service is to provide flexible floating support to individuals affected by domestic abuse, 16 years old and above, who may be transitioning into independent accommodation or living in independent accommodation. the service supports clients to manage their tenancy, offer specialist domestic abuse support, assist with ongoing support needs linked to domestic abuse, develop support networks and maintain their accommodation, health, and wellbeing. 

Professionals can fill out the RISE Professional Referral Form and a member of staff will be in touch to discuss the best pathway available.

Housing IDVA collocated in Housing Options: RISE 

The Housing IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) works collaboratively alongside BHCC Housing staff to meet the support requirements of survivors of domestic abuse needing help to access safe housing, ensuring that the right systems are in place and that survivors get the best possible service and support. 

Survivors presenting to Brighton & Hove City Council Housing team will be automatically referred into this service, or professionals can fill out the RISE Professional Referral Form and a member of staff will be in touch.

Level Up: Cranstoun 

This service offers bespoke one-to-one sessions for young people who are displaying abusive behaviours at home. The program will look at each young persons lived experiences without putting them into boxes, recognising that young people can be both victims and abusers at the same time. It will focus on minimising further trauma, focusing on harm reduction and encouraging the young person not to bring harmful behaviours into adulthood.  

The referral form can be requested by sending an email to 

LGBTQ+ Housing and DA caseworker: Switchboard 

The LGBTQ+ Housing and Domestic Abuse Caseworker at Switchboard assists in managing existing DA cases whilst having an expertise in the housing sector. They also offer training and awareness raising work around the specific needs of LGBTQ+ survivors. For more information, send an email to 

LGBTQ+ Dispersed Accommodation: RISE 

There are specialised units of dispersed accommodation for LGBTQ+ people experiencing domestic abuse. These are safe spaces with dedicated staff available to support clients. 

Professionals can fill out the RISE Professional Referral Form and a member of staff will be in touch to discuss the best pathway available.

Rising Stars: RISE 

Rising Stars is a community programme for young people who have been impacted by domestic abuse which assists with developing emotional literacy and helping to understand how to process their experiences. There is a group for 8-11 year olds as well as ‘mini-stars’ for 4-7 year olds. A group for mothers also runs alongside these, known as ‘raising stars’ which provides skills for relationship building. 

Professionals can fill out the RISE Professional Referral Form and a member of staff will be in touch to discuss the best pathway available.

Sanctuary Scheme: RISE 

The Sanctuary Scheme is an accessible service offered to all survivors of domestic abuse over the age of 16, working flexibly with them and key partners to support them to remain in their own homes, build their social networks and maintain and improve their wellbeing, including co-ordinating the installation of security systems. 

The referral form for this service can be found here: Sanctuary Scheme Professional Referral form | RISE ( 

Young Persons Housing Caseworker: Victim Support 

The Children and Young Person’s Domestic Abuse and Housing Caseworker will support young survivors of domestic abuse aged 16-25 who are currently being impacted by housing insecurity. This includes risk of tenancy breakdown, homelessness, and unsafe accommodation. They will support young survivors across all levels of risk.  

Professionals can refer a client by sending an email to b&  

Other specialist services

Survivors' Network 

Help and support for those who have experienced sexual violence, rape or childhood sexual abuse. 

Veritas Justice 

Local stalking support 

Safe Space Sussex 

Directory of support services if you have been the victim of a crime. 

Women's Centre 

Information and support, counselling and complimentary therapies by appointment. 


For men in Sussex affected by unwanted sexual experiences. 

24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 

For women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. 

National LGBT+ domestic violence helpline 

Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse. 

National stalking helpline 

Respect phone line 

A confidential helpline for people who are abusive and/or violent towards their current or ex-partner. Offers information and advice to support perpetrators to stop their violence and change their abusive behaviours. 

Respect Men's Advice Line 

A confidential helpline offering advice and support for male victims of domestic violence or abuse.