Advice for practitioners on domestic abuse
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Guidance and support available to practitioners working with those affected by domestic abuse and violence.
Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
The MARAC is a monthly risk management meeting where professionals share information on high risk cases of domestic violence and abuse and put in place a risk management plan.
The MARAC aims to:
- Share information to increase the safety, health and well-being of victims/survivors, adults and their children
- Determine whether the alleged perpetrator poses a significant risk to any particular individual or to the general community
- Construct jointly and implement a risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm
- Reduce repeat victimisation
- Improve agency accountability, and
- Improve support for staff involved in high-risk domestic abuse cases
SafeLives provides general information on MARACs and quality assures MARACs nationwide.
Guidance on how to refer
There are currently four criteria for referring a case to MARAC:
- Visible high risk
- Professional judgement
- Potential escalation
- Repeat cases
If you completed a Risk Identification Checklist with the victim, please send it together with your referral form.
If you need advice on completing the forms or any other aspects of the MARAC process, you can speak to the MARAC coordinator. Please contact the Community Safety Service team to request a call back.
Working with victims of domestic abuse
Victims of domestic abuse need to know that they will be taken seriously and that their rights will be enforced. They need to have accessible options and be supported to make safe changes for themselves and their children.
Whilst the risk of staying may be very high, simply leaving the relationship does not guarantee that the violence will stop. In fact, the period during which a victim is planning or making their exit, is often the most dangerous time for them and their children. It is vitally important that victims are also supported while living with their abusers. If a victim feels that they will not be given ongoing support while they stay with an abusive partner, they are unlikely to seek help from the same person or organisation again.
Make sure you know what to do if a client tells you they are experiencing domestic abuse, and where to signpost them for support.
Working with perpetrators
Working with people who use violence or abuse in their intimate relationships can be challenging, and many agencies in Wandsworth are likely to come into contact with perpetrators of domestic abuse, either directly or indirectly.
Knowing where to access advice around work with perpetrators and where to make referrals for those seeking support is important, particularly to keep the focus on the safety of victims of domestic abuse and any children, and to hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions.
It is important that perpetrators of domestic violence are not referred for interventions between perpetrators and victims such as generic counselling or mediation.
Respect is the UK membership association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services. The key focus is on increasing the safety of those experiencing domestic violence through promoting effective interventions with perpetrators.
The association runs the Respect Phoneline, an information and advice line for people who are concerned about their abusive and/or violent behaviour towards their partners. Professionals can also request the document "Guidelines for working with domestic violence perpetrators".