I am a professional

Working with people suffering abuse

If you are a front-line member of staff, you should have completed the e-learning training on domestic abuse that Salford City Council offers through Virtual College.

There is also a one day domestic abuse awareness course and a two day course for people working with children run by the Salford Safeguarding Children Board available to anyone working in the city.

This should help you to know how to support victims of abuse and violence. If you would like more information, go to the End the Fear website, which has been developed by all the local authorities in Greater Manchester and has a great deal of relevant information.

The DASH (domestic abuse, stalking and honour based violence) risk assessment is a tool used to assess the risk that a victim is exposed to and can help in the action required. If a score of 14 or higher is attained, the victim should be referred to the multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC).

The risk assessment form is available for all professionals to use. Please use the downloadable form at the bottom of this page.

The referral needs to be uploaded to the relevant website. Your organisation will have a designated person to do this, if not, ask your commissioning organisation to do this on your behalf. You will need to find out when the case is being heard and attend the meeting to give your information.

It is important to establish at this stage whether the victim consents to have their information discussed at MARAC or whether you have to take the case forward without consent. Clearly, wherever possible, it is better to have the victim's consent and you need to be able to explain to them how the MARAC works and what it can offer them.

What is a multi-agency risk assessment conference?

A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, probation, health, child protection, housing practitioners, independent domestic violence advisors (IDVA) and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

After sharing all relevant information they have about a victim, the representatives discuss options for increasing the safety of the victim and turn these into a co-ordinated action plan. The primary focus of the MARAC is to safeguard the adult victim.

The MARAC will also make links with others to safeguard children and manage the behaviour of the perpetrator. At the heart of a MARAC is the working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but all may have insights that are crucial to their safety. The victim does not attend the meeting but is represented by an IDVA who speaks on their behalf.

MARACs are fortnightly meetings which provide a structured forum for information sharing, risk assessment and safety planning in relation to the victim and their family. The victim will also be allocated an independent domestic violence advocate if they don't have one already. An IDVA works with the victim with safety planning, risk assessment and supporting them and their children to engage with community services.

Salford Independent Domestic Abuse Support Service (SIDASS) have trained advisors to support to all victims of domestic abuse, including risk assessment, safety planning, crisis support, civil and criminal work, referral and signposting, and aim to provide a holistic package of support to the family as a whole. They provide a helpline to victims and professionals between Monday and Friday from 10.00am to 4.00pm, and deliver the 'positive you' 12 week programme for survivors. For more information, call 0161 793 3232.

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