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Domestic abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, violent, bullying or threatening behaviour between people in a relationship, and that can include family members. 

It isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, although the vast majority of domestic abuse survivors are women, and 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives.

There is no excuse for domestic abuse

We all deserve to be treated with respect and to live our lives without fear.

Safe in Sussex exists to help those experiencing domestic abuse and to prevent domestic abuse by promoting healthy relationships.

Children and young people who witness or experience domestic abuse are particularly vulnerable to low self-esteem, mental health issues and abusive relationships when they are adults. 

Are you in an abusive relationship?

  • Are you prevented from seeing friends or family or from leaving the house?
  • Are you constantly criticised?
  • Does anyone constantly check up on you or follow you?
  • Have you or your children been hurt or threatened?
  • Does someone control you and your finances?
  • Have you been forced to have sex against your will?
  • Are you afraid?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, you could be experiencing some form of domestic abuse.

When abuse is psychological, mental or emotional rather than physical, it is often ignored, excused or denied – but these forms of abuse are just as dangerous and damaging.  

And, domestic abuse is not just carried out by people who are in a romantic relationship. 

Forced marriages and so called “Honour Crimes” are a form of domestic abuse and controlling behaviour that may be carried out by parents or other family members. 

We are here to help

Our trained, friendly staff are always happy to have a confidential, informal chat to talk through what’s going on and explain the options open to you.


We won’t judge you or encourage you to do anything you don’t feel ready to do

If you do want help or advice, we will talk you through the many ways we can help.


Worried about someone?

If you suspect a friend or family member is being subjected to domestic abuse, we can give you practical advice and support on how to help without putting yourself or the potential victim at risk.

Domestic Violence – the Facts


1 in 10 women will be experiencing abuse RIGHT NOW


1 in 4 women will experience abuse at some point in their lives


1 in 6 men will experience abuse at some point in their lives

Every week, at least 2 women are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

Safe in Sussex is here to help and support you and your family.

Domestic Violence and Children

Even if children aren’t being subjected to domestic abuse directly, living in an unhealthy and abusive environment can damage their wellbeing and mental health.

Parents, especially mothers, may stay in an abusive relationship if it seems like the only way to keep a roof over their children’s heads.

At Safe in Sussex, we provide emergency refuge places for women and children, alongside ongoing practical and emotional support to minimise the long-term damage caused by witnessing or experiencing violence.

Our refuges are safe, and families can stay with us for up to six months as they rebuild their lives and confidence after fleeing a violent relationship.



Safe In Sussex receives 14% of its funding from the government. The rest is through grants, fundraising events, donations, legacies and corporate sponsorship.

Demand for our services grows every year and finding the money to fund our vital services gets tougher all the time.

We are fortunate to receive some grant funding from Children in Need, the National Lottery and local authority organisations, but we are constantly looking for new ways to attract funding.

If you would like to help us in any way please call us on 0330 333 7416 or email

If you would like to help our fundraising activities, please click here to find out how you can get involved.

Support Safe In Sussex by making a donation today!

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Registered Office Address:
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way, Worthing, BN13 3QZ

Registered Charity No. 1098726
Worthing Women's Aid (Company Limited by Guarantee No. 04691516) trading as Safe in Sussex