A multi-agency forum which has helped more than 4,000 victims, or potential victims, of domestic abuse has marked 10 years of dedicated support.
The Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) focuses on ensuring the safety of high risk victims of domestic abuse.
Each MARAC is attended by a host of key agencies including statutory, non-statutory and community sector organisations including Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Police, NHS Wiltshire, probation, housing agencies and the Wiltshire Domestic Abuse Service – meaning smooth communication and swift action.
It provides a forum for sharing information and taking action to reduce harm to victims and their children.
Since the group started, the MARAC has helped 4,063 high risk victims, and included within those families is 5,815 children.
Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for adults social care, said: “Over the past 10 years the MARAC has been fundamental in ensuring the provision of vital support to very vulnerable, and often scared people who find themselves in a desperate situation.
“Key working relationships have been fostered over this time and the agencies work together with compassion and commitment to help those who are at greatest risk of harm.
“It’s nice to take a moment to reflect on what we have achieved over the last decade but our main focus as always is to look forward and ensure those who need our support continue to get it as quickly as possible.
“Domestic abuse of any kind is a despicable crime but we hope people are reassured that there is support available and we’ll do all we can to help.”
Police and crime commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, said: “”I am very impressed with the work that the MARAC has done over the years to co-ordinate support for people who are living with the impact of domestic abuse.
“We need to continue to provide the best service possible to the most vulnerable and high risk victims in our communities.
“I want to congratulate all partners for the work that they have done, and continue to do, to protect people from harm.”
Detective Inspector Simon Childe, Public Protection Department at Wiltshire Police and Chair of MARAC, said: “No single agency can solve domestic abuse alone. By working with partners, a greater level of information is shared and the response is far more effective.“MARAC is a key tool in reducing the likelihood of further incidents and assisting the most vulnerable people in society to escape the cycle of domestic abuse.
“Many victims don’t leave abusive relationships due to uncertainty over where they could live, or what will happen to their children if they leave. MARAC provides a joined up approach to solving these issues and encourages the victim to take the first step to a better life.”
At an event today (4 July 2017) the team took some time out to mark the milestone with all the key partners involved and reflected on the work over the past 10 years.
All people who have been identified as being at ‘high risk’ of current or future harm from domestic abuse are discussed at MARAC.
Domestic abuse cuts across geographic and cultural groups. It occurs across society regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography.
If anyone is experiencing domestic abuse there are a number of places they can go to for help and advice –
- Call 999 if in immediate danger
- National Domestic Violence Helpline – Tel: 0808 2000 247
- Free and confidential 24hr helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge. This helpline will take calls from children & young people
- Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
- Wiltshire Domestic Abuse Support Service – Tel 01225 775276
- Wiltshire Council website – www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community-safety-domestic-abuse
- www.thisisabuse.gov.uk – This is a dedicated website designed specifically for teenagers where you can get further information and advice on relationship issues. The website provides information for: Teenagers in heterosexual and same sex relationships.