If you have been referred to MARAC, you might have some questions about what that means for you and your family. This page aims to provide you with the answers to some of those questions, and advice about who you can speak to for more information and support.
Individuals referred to a MARAC are considered to be victims of domestic abuse, who are at high risk of harm from their perpetrator. You can expect ongoing support and safeguarding for you and any children you may have, which can include housing support, counselling, help with finances, child contact support and emotional support.
Why have I been referred to MARAC?
If you have been referred to a MARAC, your case is considered to be of ‘high risk’ of domestic abuse, which means that the agencies or agency involved believe that you may be at risk of significant harm and want to help and protect you.
I didn't want this referral, why is it still going ahead?
Unlike some safeguarding referrals, consent is not required to make a MARAC referral due to the evidence of high risk abuse.
What actually is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is defined as 'any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.' You can find out more by visiting this page on our website.
Who attends a MARAC meeting?
Multiple agencies will attend, including the police, housing, social services, health and education. During the meeting, agencies will share only relevant information about your case and discuss the ways in which they can come together to support you and your family.
The ways in which they could help you might be by putting support in place to help you move home, by arranging emotional support such as counselling or by seeking assistance from the Police with any domestic abuse incidents you have been the victim of.
Can I attend the meeting?
Because multiple cases with different victims are discussed at the same meeting, victims are not invited to attend.
Usually, an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) will represent you on your behalf during the meeting, and will be very happy to talk to you in detail before it. You are entitled to say what you think is best for you and your family, and your IDVA will help you to do that.
IDVAs are trained domestic abuse specialists, are independent of any other agency, and will offer you a wealth of support and guidance if you engage with them.
Outside of the meeting, they have access to a range of different support services for you and your family, and are always there to listen and support you.
How can I get IDVA support?
All MARAC victims are entitled to support from an IDVA, which should automatically be offered once you are referred. In the event that you are not currently receiving IDVA support but would like to now that you know more about what MARAC is, please contact your local IDVA service below:
- Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid - Birmingham and Solihull
- Birmingham LGBT
- Coventry Haven - Coventry
- Black Country Women’s Aid - Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall
- Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum - Wolverhampton
What about my children?
If you have children, their safety and needs will be discussed along with yours. A MARAC meeting does not have the power to remove children, but does consider whether they are at risk and will set actions around this. This could include seeking your permission for your child to have support at school, or for your IDVA and children’s social worker to work together to support you and your family.
What happens after the meeting?
Your representative will contact you to talk to you about what will happen going forward. They will update any information relevant to you and let you know what you can expect from other agencies. Often, once a case is heard at MARAC, all of the relevant safeguarding is already in place and there isn’t anything further to do. This is a good thing.
Always try to remember, the sole aim of the MARAC is to protect you and your family from further harm. Your safety is the priority. One of the most important things for you to do at this time is to work with the agencies who want to support you and help us to keep you safe.
If you are scared or frightened of further abuse or harm, or don’t feel safe, trust your instincts and call 999 – we are here to help you.