Domestic Violence & Abuse

What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?

Domestic violence and 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 regardless of gender or sexuality.  This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial or
  • emotional

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 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.

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

You are not alone. Help and support is available.

If this is happening to you, there are things you can do to help keep yourself safe. Click here to find out how.

Useful Resources

There is a local ‘amber card’, which includes information on local and national services and what domestic and sexual violence & abuse might be like, as well as basic advice on safety.

There is a ‘domestic abuse surgery’ every Wednesday morning between 9am and 12 noon at the Customer Centre at Hove Town Hall. The Domestic Abuse Surgery offers people:

  • A private, safe space to talk through their concerns
  • A chance to find out more about the options available to them, including how and where to get help
  • Advice on housing options, finances, substance misuse or mental health issues
  • Information about their partner’s offending history.
  • How to get help


    The Police

    You can report domestic violence and abuse in the following ways:

    Remember to always to call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

    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.

    Specialist Services

    If you’ve been affected by domestic or sexual abuse or violence contact The Portal to find out more about the help, advice and support available. The Portal is a partnership of leading Sussex Domestic and Sexual Abuse Charities including RISE, which also offers a range of other services in Brighton & Hove.

    To contact The Portal, call Freephone 0300 323 9985 or email


    Find out about the support available for you and your family and how to get the help you need. Contact the Early Help on 01273 292632

    If are a member of the public and are concerned about a child's welfare, please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01273 290400


    Report abuse or neglect of an adult online or by calling Access Point, the contact centre for Adult Social Care services, on 01273 295555.


    24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline

    Freephone 0808 2000 247

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

    National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)

    0844 8044 999

    NCDV provides a free, fast emergency service to survivors of domestic violence, regardless of race, financial situation, gender or sexual orientation. They work closely with partner agencies and help people apply for an injunction quickly

    National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline

    Freephone 0800 999 5428

    Emotional and practical support for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse

    Men’s Advice Line

    Freephone 0808 801 0327

    Confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members

    Karma Nirvana

    Freephone 0808 5999 247

    Immediate and on-going support for victims of Forced Marriage and so-called ‘Honour Based’ Abuse

    Respect Phone Line

    Freephone 0808 802 4040

    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.