What is an IDVA?

Anna Friel - Abuse

Anna Friel - Abuse


An IDVA is an accredited Independent Domestic Violence Advisor who offers you support.

If you are going to court as a witness or victim of domestic violence you can request free support from your local IDVA worker at HARV.The IDVA is the key point of contact for you as a survivor of domestic abuse throughout the court process and longer term can refer you to another support service.

The IDVA is there for you. Court procedures can be very confusing; if you’re not sure about any of the process, just ask.

We provide advice and information about options to improve your safety and that of your children.

We act on your behalf exploring your options through the civil and or criminal courts system.

The service is independent of the police and other statutory agencies.


Court Process

The specialist domestic violence court will be held at Blackburn Magistrates court on Thursday each week, where dedicated prosecutors and specially trained magistrates will deal with your case.

Going to court as a witness or as a victim of a crime can be a worrying experience especially if it is your first time and if you are unsure about what to expect.

Especially if the defendant is someone you are or have been in a relationship with.

The IDVA can liaise with the witness service to arrange a pre court visit for you where you can have a look around a courtroom and familiarise yourself with what to expect on the day you are called to give evidence

If necessary the IDVA can request that special measures, screens etc are available for you on the hearing day.

HARV have workers that speak both Urdu and Punjabi. For information or a confidential chat please call 01254 879855. Download info in Urdu/ Punjabi


What will an IDVA do for my Children?

As a survivor of domestic violence living in Hyndburn and Ribble Valley the IDVA can refer your children to HARVs Children and Young Peoples service who provide specific support . Your children would be able to access.

Free play schemes throughout the school holidays for under 11s

Free weekly positive activities, youth groups and residentials for 11 -18 yrs old

One to one support or counselling in school or at a centre

Family support

KIDVA – specialist children’s IDVA worker( Provide link to Safeguarding service on Childrens page)


What does an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor do?

The main purpose of independent domestic violence advisors (IDVA) is to 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.  Serving as a victim’s primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans.

We are pro-active in implementing the plans, which address immediate safety, including practical steps to protect themselves and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the MARAC (see below) as well as sanctions and remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, housing options and services available through other organisations. IDVAs support and work over the short- to medium-term to put victims on the path to long-term safety. We have received specialist accredited training and hold a nationally recognised qualification.

Since they work with the highest risk cases, IDVAs are most effective as part of an IDVA service and within a multi-agency framework. The IDVA’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 high risk clients engage with an IDVA, 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.

At HARV we will ask a serious of questions that will enable us to determine what level of risk we think you are. After we have assessed your risk we will refer you to one of our case workers.

If you are assessed as being high risk we will refer your case to a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference).


What is a MARAC?

The main aim of the MARAC is to reduce the risk of serious harm and to increase the safety, health and well being of victims of domestic violence.

In a MARAC local agencies will meet to discuss the highest risk victims and develop a safety plan around the victim.

Information about the risk faced by those victims, the actions needed to ensure safety, the resources available locally will be shared to create a risk management plan involving all agencies.


You may also want to contact:

Public Protection Unit:  01254 353073

Victim Support:  0845 3732456

Witness care: 01282 473684

Womens Aid: 08082000247

Male advice line: 0845 0646800

Broken rainbow (LGBT): 08452 604460

Respect: 020 8563 8523

( perpetrators programme and support)

Download : survivors guide….idva leaflet, women’s leaflet and urdu leaflet

32 page guide around perpetrator behaviour