Adults IDVA Service


The main purpose of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) is to address the safety of victims at high risk  (ie. a score of 10+ on the CAADA DASH Risk Assessment) 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.

They 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 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 them on the path to long-term safety. They receive 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.



The Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) aims to reduce the risk of serious harm or murder for a victim and to increase the safety, health and well being of victims, both adults and any children. In a  MARAC local agencies will meet to discuss the highest risk of victims in their area and safety plan around the victim.

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

Any practitioner can refer directly into MARAC by following the below procedure.

Identify: is the service user experiencing domestic violence

Risks assess: have they been risk assessed? You can risk assess! Do they score as very high risk? (

Referral: if high risk you can refer to MARAC, either through your domestic violence lead within your agency or through the local IDVA –if they are lower risk refer directly to HARV.

MARAC: The case will go to the next MARAC and the IDVA will be able to update you.


IDVA contacts:




Download a CAADA Risk Assessment Form