"We need to acknowledge there is a significant, hidden problem and understand its specific complexities because by continuing to gloss over the reality we are inadvertently supporting the perpetrators who often employ rurality as a weapon in their abuse

For the first time, we have a comprehensive examination of the impact of rurality on domestic abuse victims and services, the commonalities and differences between rural and urban experiences.

  • Rural victims are half as likely to report their abuse to others.

  • Rural victims’ abuse goes on significantly longer.

  • Rural victims cannot readily access support services.

  • Rural victims live in a society that defacto protects the perpetrators.

  • Rural victims are isolated, unsupported and unprotected in a rural hell, which is purposefully ‘normalised’.


Revealing the truth was the easy bit. Acting on it is hard but acting on it is what we have to do. We need to do it positively, we need to look forward and work together to improve the service we offer to victim and survivors of domestic abuse in rural areas, and we need to do it now."

'Captive & Controlled' - National Rural Crime Network

The Rita Project, in partnership with Sussex Community Development Association, is working to support rural residents affected by Domestic Abuse access the support they need.

If you have recently or historically experienced abuse and feel like you'd like to talk to someone about your next steps or any other concerns you may have, please contact our team: 


07825 409552 (phone or text)


Domestic abuse

in Rural Communities