Brighton and Hove Domestic Abuse Specialist Service


0300 323 9985

Call the DASS Helpline on 0300 323 9985, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Out of hours Supportline

08 08 16 89 111

Get help from your local team

Survivors, professionals, and friends or family of someone experiencing abuse can call the DASS Helpline on 0300 323 9985. Lines are open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. If we are unable to answer a call immediately then you can leave a voicemail message. We ask that the message includes a name, location and reason for the call.

Go online

Our free live chat support service is available 24/7.

Create a free account on My Support Space – an online resource containing interactive guides to help you manage the impact that crime has had on you.

The Domestic Abuse Specialist Service (DASS) for Brighton and Hove is provided by Victim Support and has been in operation since April 2021.

Domestic abuse is carried out by a current or ex-intimate partner or by family members and can take many forms. This does not always have to be physical. The most common forms of domestic abuse are psychological and emotional, and also includes sexual and financial/economic harm. It is a pattern of behaviour which is designed to control and coerce, and which can leave you feeling frightened, intimidated and unable to speak out.

We understand that domestic abuse is a difficult subject to talk about, and asking for help can be the hardest step to take. We are here to believe and support all survivors. We know that each person’s situation is different and we can offer a safe, non-judgemental space to discuss your experiences. We can help you to decide your own safe way forward and think about what’s best for you, whether you choose to have an ongoing relationship with the abusive person or not.

We support survivors of any gender identity and can help you to explore whether you would like support from our team or from gender-specific or LGBTQ+ specialist organisations.

Our services currently include specialist support for children and young people aged 13 and upwards, as well as for survivors who identify from black and ethnic minoritised communities. We can also support you if you are due to attend criminal trial and give evidence as a survivor of domestic abuse-related crime, or if you attend the local hospital and wish to talk about your experience.

We 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.

Independent Domestic Violence Advisory (IDVA) service

DASS provides an Independent Domestic Violence Advisory (IDVA) service to survivors at high risk of harm and/or who have been referred to the Brighton & Hove Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). An Independent Domestic Violence Advisor will work with a survivor to:

  • increase their safety and the safety of their children
  • reduce their risk
  • ensure they are linked in with appropriate professional agencies to aid their recovery from abuse.

Specialist support

  • Black and ethnic minoritised communities

We strive to ensure that our support options are inclusive, and we currently provide a specialist service for survivors from black, migrant and ethnic minoritised communities. The BMEC IDVA can provide culturally informed advocacy, information and risk assessment, with an enhanced awareness of specific risks and barriers to support that survivors may experience.

  • Children and young people

The DASS provides dedicated services for children and young people aged between 13 to 25 years. Our CYP IDVA can work with young survivors who are currently at risk of, or have experienced, abuse in their own relationships. We also provide a CYP Housing Caseworker who is able to work with young survivors aged 16-25 who are currently impacted by housing insecurity, such as risk of tenancy breakdown, homelessness, and unsafe accommodation.

  • Criminal court support

We are able to support survivors who are due to attend Crown or Magistrates Court as a victim of domestic abuse-related crime. This includes accompanying them to the trial and to pre-trial visits, helping them navigate the criminal justice system and advocating for any special measures they may need.

  • Hospital and health

Our Health IDVA is based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and provides advice, information, risk assessment, safety planning and support to patients who attend relevant departments. They are also able to provide domestic abuse advice and consultancy to health service providers.


Our helpline is available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday for all survivors and professionals who are seeking advice and information about domestic abuse. A member of the DASS team will offer support, complete further risk assessment where necessary, and advise on next steps.


We deliver free training courses to professionals throughout the year on Domestic Abuse Awareness, Risk Assessment and Safety Planning, and Working with Children and Young People at Risk. Previous courses also include training on topics such as Romance Fraud from our Hate Crime team. We are also able to deliver bespoke packages to organisations on request who may want tailored in-house training sessions. To find out more contact us:

Community opportunities

IDVAs work from key locations in the city, which includes the Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Adolescent Service on Regency Road. We are also arranging co-location opportunities with relevant children and young people’s housing providers.

We currently provide a domestic abuse drop-in service every Tuesday afternoon for people who attend the Sexual Health and Contraception service on Morley Street. Contact us on if you would like further details.

24/7 support

Anyone seeking support for domestic abuse can also contact the 24-hour Supportline provided by Victim Support, which is available seven days a week. Victim Support provide a 24/7 live chat service, which also provides help and information from a trained supporter.

Call us

Survivors, professionals and friends or family of someone experiencing abuse can call the DASS Helpline on 0300 323 9985 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday). If we are unable to answer a call immediately then you can leave a voicemail message. We ask that the message includes a name, address, reason for the call, and a safe way to contact you. Please tell us if it is safe to leave you a voicemail or a text.

Get in touch

Survivors can self-refer to us by using our request support form. When completing the form please state that you would like support from the Brighton & Hove DASS team.

Client referrals

If you are a professional who would like to refer a client to the DASS then please complete the online referral form here.

If you have any queries about the form then please contact us via, or via our secure CJSM address:

***If you have assessed a client as being at high risk of harm then you must refer to the Brighton and Hove MARAC in the first instance. For further information on how to do this, please visit the Safe in the City website***

Out of hours support

The 24/7 Supportline can be accessed by calling 0808 1689 111.

Access our 24/7 live chat service.

My Support Space

My Support Space is an online resource designed by Victim Support to help people manage the impact of crime and trauma. This includes interactive support guides, a recovery diary, and the opportunity to access direct support including the online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) platform SilverCloud. You can download a leaflet to find out more about support guides on My Support Space for domestic abuse.

Information leaflets

Victim Support provides a number of information leaflets on our website across a range of topics. These include:

  • Domestic abuse (easy read available)
  • Rape and sexual assault – information for women and for men
  • Adult survivors of child sexual abuse
  • Coping with trauma
  • Helping your child after a crime

Domestic Abuse Information

We have further information about domestic abuse that you may find useful. This includes understanding the types of domestic abuse including coercive and controlling behaviour, spotting the signs, the effects on survivors, and indicators that a child is witnessing or experiencing domestic abuse.

You can also download the Surviving Domestic Abuse leaflet, as well as the guide to recognising the signs of domestic abuse.

There is also a specific section on legal orders which you might want to discuss with your IDVA or the professional supporting you. These orders include:

  • Police orders
  • Non-molestation orders
  • Occupation orders
  • Prohibited steps orders

Keeping Safe

If you are at risk from a perpetrator of domestic abuse then you may be concerned about your safety, and it can be helpful to understand what steps you can take in order to keep yourself safe.

Take a look at our ‘Keeping Safe’ page for tips on what you can do, which includes:

  • Personal safety
  • Staying safe online
  • Keeping your home safe
  • Protecting yourself from fraud

Reporting to the police and your rights

If you have experienced domestic abuse then you may be thinking about reporting this to the police. It’s normal to feel unsure about whether this is the right thing to do. There are positive reasons for reporting a crime, and it may be helpful to take a look at this section on reporting a crime to the police to help you reach the decision that is right for you. There is also further information on what to expect after you report a crime, which includes making a statement and the process of gathering evidence.

If you are engaged with the criminal justice system (which includes making a report to the police, being a witness/victim in an ongoing investigation, or attending court) then you have a right to receive a certain level of service from each criminal justice agency. You can find further information on the Victims’ Code, Victim Personal Statements and Your Rights as a Witness on our ‘Your Rights’ section.

Attending court

Being asked to attend court as a survivor of domestic abuse can be overwhelming at first, so understanding what to expect can help the experience feel less daunting. An IDVA from the DASS will support you to attend court and enquire about special measures for you, but it may also be useful to look at our information pages on Going to Court, which includes:

  • How the criminal justice system works
  • Before, during and after a trial
  • Extra help in court
  • Sentencing
  • Your rights as a witness