Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA's) represent the views of the victim at MARAC and liaise where possible between the victim and partner agencies to ensure that the safety plan is indeed safe.
IDVA's work with those classed as high risk (14+ yes's on the RIC). They address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children. IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk then discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans
What actions can IDVA offer in MARAC?
The actions offered by the Idva will usually reflect work already being done with the victim. This will involve supporting the victim through crisis, discussing options, supporting through criminal/civil process, assisting with housing options, risk assessing and safety planning with the victim and signposting on to other services. Actions may be coordinated with other agencies such as joint meetings. This is particularly effective in initially engaging those victims who have not been contactable prior to Marac but who may be engaged with other services, such as probation or substance misuse support.
Examples of help and support IDVA provides:
- Help the client to see the risks from the domestic violence.
- Assist in increasing security in their property.
- Exploring various housing options, including accessing emergency accommodation.
- Work with other agencies to help increase a clients safety.
- Give the client a voice.
- Listen to the client and their wishes.
- Advocate on their behalf.
- Give advice and support to help the client think through their options.
- Signpost the client to other specialist services such as counselling, housing, legal and refuge services, in order to increase safety and wellbeing.
- Give advice on criminal and civil remedies available to them.
- We act on their behalf exploring options through the civil and or criminal courts system.
- Keep the client up to date with court proceedings.
- Explain some of the legal jargon and processes.
- If necessary the IDVA can request that special measures, video link, screens etc. are available for the client on the hearing day.
- The IDVA can liaise with the witness service to arrange a pre court visit for the client where they can have a look around a courtroom and familiarise themselves with what to expect on the day they are called to give evidence.
- Inform of their options if a case does not proceed to court.
- Support them to make their own decisions that are right for them.