Improving Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and interventions for victims of domestic abuse: consultation

A consultation to improve multi-agency risk assessment centres for victims of domestic abuse in Scotland.

Part 5: Improving Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Working for Victims of Domestic Abuse

We welcome your views on the following questions.

Effective working, risk identification and referral pathways

To ensure effective multi-agency working and improve the safety of victims of domestic abuse we need to ensure that more people are aware of the signs of domestic abuse, know how to assess someone as being at high risk and know how to refer that individual to the appropriate forum. By improving knowledge of the above amongst staff in public bodies such as NHS Scotland, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Services, children's services and education we will be able to help more people at risk by finding them no matter which service/agency they come into contact with. We need to have a clearly agreed model of multi-agency working, and to have a commonly agreed approach to identifying risk.

Question 1: How can we ensure training on domestic abuse and appropriate risk assessment tools for public bodies, agencies and services staff?

Question 2: In your view, what is the best model of multi-agency working for ensuring effective and early interventions for victims of domestic abuse?

Question 3: In your view, what is the best model for professionals assessing risk in relation to domestic abuse?

Question 4: In your view, who are the key partners that should be involved in multi-agency working to support victims of domestic abuse?

Question 5: In your view, what guidance is required to support and embed effective multi-agency working for victims of domestic abuse?

Information sharing

Information sharing amongst agencies and confusion over what information agencies/services can share may adversely affects the effectiveness of multi-agency working. We would like to ensure that all public body, agency and service representatives working together are clear about their roles and what information they should be sharing to ensure the safety of the individual in question.

Question 6: What protocols need to be put in place to ensure effective information sharing between agencies?

Effective underpinning through statute

Question 7: Do you think that multi-agency arrangements for protecting victims of domestic abuse should be placed on a statutory footing?


IDAA (Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate) is a single specialist professional who works with a victim to develop a trusting relationship and who can help with everything they need to become safe. Since they work with the highest risk cases, Idaas are most effective as part of an Idaa service and within a multi-agency framework. The Idaa's role in all multi-agency settings is to keep the client's perspective and safety at the centre of proceedings. Studies have shown that when clients experiencing high-risk abuse engage with an Idaa, there are clear and measurable improvements in safety, including a reduction in the escalation and severity of abuse and a reduction or even cessation in repeat incidents of abuse. This creates the context in which other needs can be met.

MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) is a regular, local, confidential meeting to discuss how to help victims and survivors at high risk of being murdered or seriously harmed. A domestic abuse specialist (Idaa), police, children's social services, health and other relevant agencies sit round the same table. They talk about the circumstances faced by the victim or survivor, perpetrator and their children, and share information. This information then informs an action plan which all agencies contribute to, with the Idaa acting as a vocal advocate for the victim's wishes and needs. The principal endeavour of the meeting is to help the victim become sustainably safe. Insights is a 'whole family' outcomes measurement programme specifically designed for specialist domestic abuse services supporting adults and children who have and/or are experiencing domestic abuse.

MATAC (Multi Agency Tasking and Coordination) is a Police Scotland initiative to identify and manage the most harmful domestic abuse perpetrators.

DASH is one type of risk checklist for the identification of cases of domestic abuse, stalking and 'honour-based' violence. It is primarily intended for professional – both specialist domestic abuse workers and other professionals working for universal services.


Email: Leonie Stone

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