County council’s domestic abuse support service celebrates 20-year anniversary

This year Worth Services is proudly celebrating 20 years of supporting victim-survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse in West Sussex.

Since the service opened on 4 January 2004, it has supported over 25,000 adults and young people and worked in partnership with Childrens and Adult Social Care as well as other agencies, including My Sister’s House, Hersana, Switchboard and Sussex Police, to hold perpetrators of domestic abuse to account for their harmful behaviours.

On a weekly basis the service receives an average of 100 referrals and at any one time they are supporting over 700 victim-survivors.

Worth started its journey based out of Worthing Hospital with two members of staff responding to victim-survivors who were attending the hospital and in need of vital support to get away from their abusive situations.

Over the last 20 years the service has grown considerably and currently has 43 members of specialist frontline staff and supporting managers who are located across a variety of teams and locations across the council and beyond, which includes the Family Safeguarding Team, Housing Options and Acute Hospital Sites.

Councillor Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults Services said: “Keeping people safe from vulnerable situations is one of the county council’s four strategic priorities. Domestic abuse is something that is hidden within society, and it is reassuring to know that our very own Worth Services has been standing side by side with victims in West Sussex for the past 20 years, giving them much needed help and guidance, all whilst ensuring that the voice of the victim as well as their children, remains at the centre of the support.

“Alongside this vital work, the service also delivers free comprehensive specialist domestic abuse training to all professionals in West Sussex, helping them to increase their confidence in the response to domestic and sexual violence and abuse. Our frontline workers are perfectly placed to see the signs and contributing factors and without this training there would be many people still experiencing abuse without any end in sight.

“There is absolutely no excuse for abuse, so if you, or someone you know, is a victim, please do not hesitate to contact Worth – they are there to listen and offer support and advice to help keep residents safe.”

Throughout 2024, Worth Services will be holding events to celebrate all of their achievements, including their 20 year milestone, and these will be shared on the County Council’s Community Safety and Wellbeing Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, and you’re ready to reach out for support, you can call Worth’s central duty phoneline between 9am and 5pm, Monday – Friday on 0330 222 8181.