Sussex

Phone

0808 168 9274

If you’ve been affected by crime, call us on 0808 168 9274. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Out of hours Supportline

08 08 16 89 111

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.

Get help from your local team

Call us

If you’ve been affected by crime, call us on 0808 168 9274. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

If you need support outside of our open hours, call our  24/7 Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support via our website.

Go online

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic we have made our free live chat support service 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.

We give emotional and practical help to people who have been affected by crime in Sussex. We’re an independent charity and you can contact us for support regardless of whether you’ve contacted the police, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. We’ll help you for as long as it takes to overcome the impact of crime.

If you call your local Victim Support team, we’ll make sure you get the information and support you need. This might be arranging a meeting for you to talk to us and receive emotional support in confidence, helping you to fill out a compensation form or get advice on how to make your home more secure, or referring you to other specialist organisations that can also help.

As well as offering emotional and practical support to people affected by crime, we run a number of specialist services in Sussex, with the support of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, East & West Sussex County Councils and Brighton & Hove City Council.

Sussex Fraud Support Service

Since 2016, vulnerable victims of fraud throughout Sussex, have been receiving tailored support from two specialist fraud caseworkers. We work closely with Sussex Police under their Operation Signature initiative, to put in place effective interventions which disrupt the actions of fraudsters and aim to reduce the risk of re-victimisation to our service users. The service includes a peer support group for those who have been the victims of romance fraud.

Sussex Hate Incident Support Service (HISS)

The HISS provides emotional and practical support to victims of Hate Crime and Hate Incidents in Sussex, whether or not they have been reported to the police.

Sussex CYP Service (including the Sussex Young Witness Service)

We offer a service to children and young people to complement our Young Witness Service which has been operating since 2005, offering vital support to children and young people under 18 who have to attend the Crown Court to give evidence in a trial.

Brighton & Hove Domestic Abuse Service

A specialist support service for victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the city, providing independent information, advice, support & advocacy, including:

  • 1-2-1 casework support from trained Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs)
  • a hospital IDVA based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital
  • a criminal Justice DVA to provide support through the criminal justice system.

The service also offers training to statutory and community services on how to promote routine enquiry about harmful practices and encourage those at risk to seek help.

You can call the service for free on 0300 323 9985. Find out more about the service and who it can help.

Restorative Justice

We are a member of the Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership. Working with Sussex Police, the Probation Service, HM prisons, the youth offending teams and Sussex Pathways, we give victims the chance to have their say and perpetrators the opportunity to understand the impact of their crimes.

Last year we received nearly 40,000 referrals for support for people affected by crime in Sussex, and gave in-depth support to more than 2,500 people.

I dread to think what I’d have done that day if I hadn’t spoken to Clare.

Jess*, a victim of rape, has received help from Victim Support’s Young Witness Service in Sussex. Here Jess describes how her caseworker Clare guided her through the toughest time of her life, bringing back her confidence and giving her hope for the future again.
Until I met Clare, I’d been petrified about going to court.

I had no idea what to expect and I was really worried. Three days before the trial I met Clare and everything started to get better. She showed me around the court, where I’d be sitting, who else would there. I remember being surprised at how small it was – court rooms always look massive on TV. This made me more nervous as everything seemed more intense, so I’m really glad I had a chance to see it beforehand and prepare myself.

After the court visit, Clare watched my video evidence with me.

We’d only met an hour earlier, but straightaway I felt really relaxed with her – she was so kind-natured and understanding. I was nervous about watching my evidence as I had no idea what I’d look like or sound like. Clare reassured me that we could stop at any point if I wanted to – she made sure I was comfortable. The video lasted nearly two hours and I was so happy to have Clare sitting beside me.

The first day of the trial was really stressful.

My lawyer suddenly had to withdraw from my case because of a family emergency. When I was told that another lawyer would take on my case, I panicked. He had just one night to prepare – how could he possibly know what to say? I was terrified that it would have a bad effect on my case. Clare gave me her number so that I could text her with my worries. She reassured me that this kind of thing happened all the time and that lawyers were professionals who knew exactly what they were doing. Later, I learnt that she was right.

Back in court, when I was about to give evidence, my knees were shaking.

Clare was so reassuring, telling me, “Come on Jess, you’ve already been so strong, you can do this.” I couldn’t have got through it without her.

After the trial, Clare and I met regularly.

I was finding things very difficult. I had kept things quiet from family so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. I’d always been a bubbly, outgoing person, but now I’d lost my confidence – I’d lost everything. I sat in my room all day for months, only going out to meet Clare. She was always there for me and because I knew she knew everything, it was really easy to talk to her.

Once I was in a really bad way.

I’d got myself in a right state. I was having a panic attack – I lost control, I felt no one cared and I didn’t know what to do. I felt that I was danger to myself. At that moment, the only person I felt I could talk to was Clare. I texted her and straightaway she phoned me back. We spoke for about half an hour and she calmed me down. Without her, I dread to think what I might have done that day. Clare really has been a life-saver.

I’d resisted counselling and anti-depressants because I wanted to get through things by myself.

Clare suggested I keep a diary to help me keep track of how my days were going. After a few weeks we looked back at it together and it was pretty shocking. It was clear I needed more help. Clare never told me what to do, but she did help me see there’s no shame in getting counselling or taking anti-depressants – loads of people do it. I had about 17 counselling sessions and they helped, and the anti-depressants made a huge difference. I’m so glad I decided to take them – I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

Clare has given me my confidence back.

Just yesterday I started a new job and that’s all thanks to Clare, who encouraged me to start thinking about finding work. I tell her how much she has helped me and she’s so humble, saying, “No, it’s you who has come through this, it’s not about me.” I say, “No Clare, it’s 100% down to you!” I’m getting back to the bubbly person I once was and I wouldn’t have got here without Clare’s support.

*Name changed to protect identity

We work with a number of partner organisations in Sussex to make sure you get the support you need – you can find details of the range of victim support services across Sussex, whether you have reported a crime to the police or not, at www.safespacesussex.org.uk