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Information for practitioners

In St Helens we meet regularly with partner agencies to discuss high-risk cases of domestic abuse (DA). This meeting is called the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). All agencies are signed up to a strict information sharing protocol.

The aim of MARAC is to:

  • share information to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of victims;
  • decide if the perpetrator is still a risk to a victim or the public in general;
  • put into place a risk-management plan to support those at high risk and to reduce the likelihood of repeated DA.

Any agency can complete a referral by filling in the MERIT risk assessment checklist. If, after completing this, it appears the case is at high risk of a repeat incident, a referral can be completed and sent to the MARAC co-ordinator.

Agencies who have been involved in a case attend and discuss what they can do to make the victim safer.

The IDVA provides short to medium-term advice and support to victims of domestic abuse (DA) at high risk of repeat incidents. An assessment will be carried out so that a plan can be developed on how best to help. The aim of the role is to:

  • increase the safety of survivors of DA and their children
  • support victims through the Criminal Justice System
  • help victims deal with the emotional effects of DA
  • assist victims with housing problems

The IDVA is the voice of the victim at the MARAC and is independent from all agencies to ensure the best possible support and advice is offered to each victim.