The new Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) meetings will be implemented in Ayrshire and Arran this summer.
A Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) includes local representatives from statutory and non-statutory agencies who meet to discuss individuals at risk of serious harm or murder as a result of domestic abuse.
The information shared at the MARAC includes the risks faced by victims, the risk posed by the domestic abuse perpetrators, and the actions needed to ensure safety. This information is used to create a risk management plan based on the resources available locally involving several or all of the partner agencies.
At the heart of the 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.
Ensuring that the victim is supported throughout and their needs represented at the MARAC is crucial to managing risk, improving and maintaining safety, and reducing repeat victimisation. This is done through the use of Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates.
The multi-agency partners involved in Ayrshire MARAC are:
- Police Scotland
- NHS Ayrshire & Arran
- East, North, and South Ayrshire Councils
- East, North, and South Ayrshire Women’s Aid
- East, North, and South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnerships
ASSIST (free specialist domestic abuse advocacy and support service).
Why do we need a MARAC in Ayrshire and Arran?
High numbers of women and many men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. The impact of domestic abuse on the victim and on children even once they have achieved safety is severe and long lasting.
Official statistics show the number of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the authorities every year. However, many victims and children don’t tell anyone about the abuse and so these incidents are never recorded.
A scoping exercise carried out across Ayrshire and Arran from November 2020 to January 2021 indicated that approximately 860 victims of domestic abuse per year would meet the criteria for referral to MARAC.
What are the aims of the MARAC?
The main aim of the MARAC is to reduce the risk of serious harm or murder for a victim of domestic abuse and to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of them and their children.
Other aims include:
- To determine the domestic abuse perpetrator’s pattern of abusive behaviour and identify the risk this poses to a particular individual, staff, and/ or the public
- To identify actions that agencies will take to reduce the risk posed by the perpetrator and that will promote the safety of adult victim, children and the public
- To jointly construct and implement a risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk, and reduces the risk of harm
- To reduce repeat victimisation
- To reinforce agency accountability
- To improve support for staff involved in high risk domestic abuse cases.
The responsibility to take appropriate action rests with individual agencies; it is not transferred to the MARAC. The role of the MARAC is to facilitate, monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable appropriate actions to be taken which, in turn, increase safety.
What does this mean for me?
Staff who do not work in front facing roles may only need to know that there is a process in place which supports multi-agency risk management for high risk domestic abuse victims.
Staff who work directly with individuals who may be at risk of serious harm or murder as a result of domestic abuse will require more detailed information and awareness. Over the coming months there will be further communications and learning opportunities in Ayrshire & Arran.
In preparation for the MARAC process being implemented, staff are encouraged to undertake refresher training in Routine Enquiry or Ask Support Care. This training can be accessed by emailing Mhairi Strawhorn.
In East Ayrshire we have a violence against women training calendar open to all multi-agency staff. This training can be accessed by emailing rhiannon.darragh
Additionally an online training module from Safe Lives, DAART, can be accessed on the DAART website
Help and support
If you have been affected by any of the information in this update and would like support, please contact:
- Women’s Aid East Ayrshire – 01563 536001
- Women’s Aid North Ayrshire – 01294 602424
- Women’s Aid South Ayrshire – 01292 266482
- Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327
24 Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247