Independent Domestic Violence Advisors or IDVA’s work with victim/survivors, aged 16 and over, who have been assessed as at high or potential high risk of further abuse or violence. Our role is to be the Voice of the Victim and to act as the main point of contact for all agencies.
The assessment is made by completing a Domestic Abuse, Stalking & Harassment (DASH) Risk Indicator Checklist (RIC). This is a list of questions designed to help professionals work out the risk facing anyone they may believe to be at risk of domestic abuse.
Our main priority is to increase the safety of victim/survivors and their children. The support we offer is intended to be short to medium term and aims to reduce the risk of further domestic abuse and the effects it may cause.
We will contact the individual within 24/48 hours of receiving a referral and work with them to assess support needs and risk level; develop a safety and support plan together which reduces risk and maximises safety; discuss a wide range of options including legal options, injunctions, security measures around the home and signposting.
High risk cases of domestic abuse are referred into the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). MARAC is a professionals meeting which looks at the “whole family” situation by sharing information. A safety plan is put in place which addresses the safety of the victim and any children and helps them to access local resources.
We have a specialist IDVA who works to support younger victim/survivors aged 16-24. Alongside her support work she liaises with 6th Forms; Wiltshire Colleges and youth agencies to increase awareness of domestic abuse and its impact.
Our service is non-judgemental and non-directive and we treat everyone with respect, sensitivity and dignity. We help victim/survivors to acknowledge and safeguard their needs and move forward to lead independent lives free from abuse.
Once risk has reduced and safety increased we can, if the client wishes, refer on to other services within the Phoenix Project to continue support. Please see other parts of our website to find out what else is available.