New partnership to support families living with domestic abuse in West Sussex

National domestic abuse charity SafeLives and West Sussex County Council are pleased to be working with The YOU Trust, Aurora New Dawn and The Hampton Trust to pilot new approaches in West Sussex to support individuals and whole families experiencing domestic abuse.

We know, through our work with victims and survivors of domestic abuse, that there are inconsistencies nationally in the support available for people experiencing domestic abuse. Over the next three years, this new partnership will trial innovative approaches, creating a much needed national database to fill the gaps in the response to domestic abuse and amplifying the voices of those who are rarely heard.

The partnership will focus on:

  • Support to stop situations escalating
  • Support for the complex needs many people have – often because of, or exacerbated by domestic abuse, such as substance misuse and mental ill health
  • Support for people who are still in their relationship or living with the perpetrator of abuse
  • Support for children and young people through specialist, age appropriate services
  • Support for survivors to recover from the harm, heal and build resilience
  • We recognise that nationally, services are often only able to respond to part of the picture around domestic abuse. At the heart of this pilot is a commitment to work in partnership with existing services across West Sussex to enhance the response for individuals and whole families.
  • The interventions will form a package of support, taking into account the needs of each person experiencing domestic abuse and offering a tailored response. The pilot will include training and guidance for professionals, enhancing skills and supporting agencies to work together to create a culture of engagement with the people and the communities they serve.
  • This work builds on SafeLives’ Beacon approach: creating lasting change by seeing the whole picture for the whole family.

We’re so pleased to be working with West Sussex County Council, The YOU Trust, Aurora New Dawn and The Hampton Trust to trial these interventions in West Sussex and improve both local and national responses to domestic abuse. West Sussex is showing itself to be in the vanguard of meaningful change – refusing to accept that domestic abuse is inevitable or acceptable and recognising that what happens to the parent, happens to the child too.

We know that 85% of victims of domestic abuse seek help five times on average before they get effective help. This is four times too many. Too often the response to domestic abuse remains a postcode lottery. We owe it to victims, survivors and families to hear them as soon as they reach out, ensuring they receive a tailored response that meets their needs.

For the last two years we’ve worked incredibly hard, alongside our expert partners and hundreds of victims and survivors to identify some of the inconsistencies that exist nationally in the response to domestic abuse. The learning from this pilot will help us develop ways of reducing these inconsistencies so that every person affected by domestic abuse – no matter who they are, or where they live – can receive the right response to make them safe and well.

The appointment of The YOU Trust, Aurora New Dawn and The Hampton Trust signals the next stage in the development of this work. We look forward to working together to help more victims, survivors and children become safe sooner.

SafeLives Chief Executive, Suzanne Jacob

The county council is delighted to be working with SafeLives and the other partners in this exciting project, which will complement the already established high-risk domestic abuse services that exist within West Sussex.

Safeguarding whole families from abuse is already one of the council’s key priorities and we are united with everyone involved in this project in our desires to identify anyone impacted by any form of abuse and to support them to receive the appropriate help they need.

We are excited that West Sussex is to be one of only two areas in the country to conduct this pilot, we hope the innovative research will help victims in West Sussex and eventually support families across the country.

Jo Millward, West Sussex County Council Service Leader – Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help Service

We were thrilled to be awarded the opportunity to deliver this project in West Sussex. YOU have been delivering services addressing domestic violence and abuse for over 30 years and this is a wonderful opportunity to develop a new team to deliver an innovative response to victims, survivors, children and perpetrators of domestic abuse.

We are equally thrilled that our consortium bid with Aurora and Hampton Trust was the winning bid as we have worked together with proven outcomes over many years. Both our consortium partners have been involved in the development of SafeLives’ Beacon approach: Aurora New Dawn were an expert partner supporting SafeLives in the research and development of this project, while The Hampton Trust are currently working with SafeLives in West Sussex to deliver Drive, a pilot project to challenge and hold high harm perpetrators to account for their behaviour. This new project has given us the opportunity to bring to West Sussex our combined expertise and to work closely with existing services to deliver these researched interventions to address domestic violence and abuse.

We know that a whole family approach, working with women, men and children, whether they are victims or perpetrators is vital to create a safe environment for individuals and families to improve outcomes and help people thrive.

Tonia Redvers, Head of Hidden Violence and Counselling at YOU

This project would not be possible without substantial funding from:

About West Sussex County Council

West Sussex County Council’s vision is that there is cross agency working for domestic and sexual violence services across the county. The Domestic Abuse Service is part of Integration Prevention and Earliest Help (IPEH) with specialist workers being integrated in to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub and part of each Early Help Hub team. The service provide a range of services and initiatives including: Victim focussed help; support and advocacy, young people domestic abuse specialist support and sexual violence specialist support.

About The YOU Trust

The YOU Trust is a charity working in Hampshire, Dorset and now, West Sussex, who for over 30 years has been providing flexible care, support and advice services centred on the people we support.

Last year (2017/18) they provided support to over 28,000 people in such specialist areas as Homelessness, Learning Disabilities, Domestic Violence and Abuse, Mental Health, Older Persons, Young People and Advice Services.

YOU Hidden Violence Services work across three counties with women, men and children both operationally and as strategic partners.  They use their experience to develop new and innovative services and developed the Stalking Clinic in Dorset.  They received nearly 6,000 referrals last year and manage 12 refuges and are pioneering an independently funded refuge for men, couples, individuals who self-identify, parents (male or female) with older male children and/or for those where traditional refuge accommodation may not be suitable.

To find out more visit

About Aurora New Dawn

Aurora New Dawn was founded in 2011 by a small group of women and collectively have over 40 years experience of working within the violence and abuse sector. They are a leading advocate on violence against women, are the founders of the first stalking clinic outside of London and work alongside national organisations delivering training and engage in research and cutting edge innovative practice.

They offer safety support, advocacy and empowerment to survivors of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual violence and are a client-led service, which means that they put the wishes and experiences of survivors at the centre of everything they do. Aurora New Dawn offers tailored support in a non-judgmental environment, and works with victims and survivors to access services from other agencies, ensuring that their needs are fully met and service provision is not duplicated.

To find out more visit

About The Hampton Trust

Hampton Trust was established in 1996 to work with court mandated domestic violence perpetrators. They work operationally and strategically as local and national levels to address violence and abuse and undertake and participate in research promoting innovate evidence-based solutions.

The Hampton Trust seeks to enable people to live free from violence, abuse, isolation and exploitation.  It achieves its aims by running programmes for individuals, families, children and young people and training for professionals.  Hampton Trust also work collectively to develop new and exciting programmes that respond holistically to violence and abuse.  Their leading perpetrator programmes are both RESPECT and ISO 9001 accredited.

To find out more visit: