Domestic abuse support
In January 2024, we published a corporate statement that set out our stand on all potential domestic abuse risks related to its business and to put in place steps aimed at ensuring that we are improving our knowledge and response to domestic abuse to ensure the best possible outcomes for victims/survivors.
Domestic abuse can happen to anybody regardless of age, disability, gender identity, race, religion, belief or sexual orientation. Domestic abuse affects children too.
Domestic abuse can take many forms of physical, mental, emotional and sexual violence and includes:
- being beaten
- being attacked with a weapon
- being locked in your home
- being denied access to money
- being prevented from seeing friends
- threats of physical or sexual abuse
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can get help to make it stop. Support is available from a number of places.
Change Grow Live is the domestic abuse service for East Sussex. The service offers support to anyone aged16+ who has been affected by domestic abuse or violence.
I need to flee my home
If you are a council tenant and need to flee your home, contact Lewes District Council on 01273 471600 or Eastbourne Borough Council on 01323 410000 and ask to speak to the Housing Solutions team. An officer can talk to you about your housing needs and may be able to assist you to find alternative accommodation if appropriate.
If you need to contact us outside of office hours (Monday to Friday: 8.30am until 5pm), please call 01323 644422.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse and/or violence from a family member, there are a variety of places that you can get advice.
If you are a woman fleeing domestic abuse, we may be able to help you find accommodation at a women's refuge. You can also find a place yourself through the National Domestic Abuse Helpline.
We have produced the fact sheet below that provides information about how to get help if you need support, and the housing options available to you.
The Portal provides information on services available for women, men, girls and boys in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex.
Further information is available at Domestic abuse: how to get help - GOV.UK
The National Refuge Helpline is a free, confidential 24 hours helpline that manages vacancies for all refuges in East Sussex.
Sanctuary Scheme, staying safe in your own home
The Sanctuary scheme aims to make it possible for victims to remain in their homes and feel safe and provides an alternative to relocation away from family and friends, vital support networks and key services. This is done through the installation of enhanced security measures in a victim's property.
Our Sanctuary Scheme works are completed via our partners at Safe Partnership www.safepartnership.org/what-to-expect
To qualify for this scheme, you must meet the following criteria:
- resident within the boundary of Eastbourne Borough Council or Lewes District Council and the victim of domestic abuse, physical violence or hate crime
- own or rent your home; however, where the victim is renting a property, the landlord's written consent for the work to be carried out is needed
- where the perpetrator of the violence does not live in the home
- clients where the council is satisfied that the victim is threatened with homelessness due to domestic violence or hate crime
- clients wishing to remain in their home who understand the implications of doing so and do not allow the perpetrator back into the property
A referral can be made by a statutory or voluntary agency, the victim or a friend or family member on their behalf. All referrals will go to our Homes First team to check that the client is eligible for the scheme.
To make a referral to the Sanctuary Housing Scheme in Lewes or Eastbourne, please complete the Sanctuary Referral Form below.
Homes First Domestic Abuse Policy and Corporate Statement
We now have a dedicated Domestic Abuse Policy for Homes First. This Policy covers our support as a landlord and to those presenting as homeless because of domestic abuse. It creates a framework of the support that you can expect from Eastbourne and Lewes Councils should you or someone you know be experiencing domestic abuse.
In January 2024, Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council published a corporate statement that set out the councils' stand on all potential domestic abuse risks related to its business and to put in place steps aimed at ensuring that we are improving our knowledge and response to domestic abuse to ensure the best possible outcomes for victims/survivors.