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IDVA service

Service overview

Reducing the Risk’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service works with everyone in Oxfordshire who is assessed as at high risk of significant harm and trauma through abuse. The service is independent, inclusive, confidential and flexible to meet individual circumstances. The core team of three IDVAs and a service manager normally respond to referrals within a working day so that as soon as possible they can be alongside, reassure, put in place measures to ensure immediate safety, develop individual safety plans where possible, and act as advocate at the MARAC.

For everyone who accepts ongoing support (~85%) their IDVA provides intense support for as long as needed to empower them to effect longer-term change through:

  • Ongoing safety planning for themselves and their children.
  • Affirmation and offering insight to help overcome trauma and, where helpful, referral to group or individual therapeutic support or mental health services.
  • Confidence-building and exploring options with a view to empowering service users to make independent choices for the future.
  • Support to achieve safe accommodation – including support to stay safely in their own homes for those who wish to remain and retain local links.
  • Support through the civil and criminal courts to obtain legal means to restrain the perpetrator – and support for the family courts if needed.
  • Support to access resources to rebuild their lives, overcome social isolation and ensure longer-term safety and wellbeing for themselves and that of their children. This may include training, education, employment advice, legal advice (housing, child contact, immigration status) finance and benefit advice.
  • Support for the 60% of our service users who have additional vulnerabilities and complex needs to access the services they need – working closely with partner agencies and the Champion Network.
  • Helping parents to safeguard their children– including help to understand their children’s needs, linking with Domestic Abuse Champions in schools and early years services to ensure good pastoral care, helping access specialist therapeutic support for children where appropriate – and support to participate in child protection processes where relevant.

The service remains open for any former service user to return at any time should there be a change in their circumstances or they need further advice and reassurance.

Overview of outcomes of IDVA support

Approximately 85% of people referred to the IDVA team accept ongoing support. Of these, on average each year:

  • 90% say they have grown in confidence.
  • 75% are able to stay safe and rebuild their lives in their own homes.
  • 7% are supported to access a refuge and 7% move to live with family or friends.
  • 12% return to or stay with the perpetrator of abuse – most with additional safety plans and our service remains open to them.

“I got all the help that I needed from the IDVA Service and special thank you to my IDVA who respected all my decisions and supported me all along the way.”

Accessing our local service

The IDVA service is a specialist service for adults and their children assessed as at high risk. We take referrals for the IDVA service through the Oxfordshire MARAC referral process. We work closely with Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service, ADAS, who support standard and medium risk victims.

If you or someone close to you is at risk and needs individual support please contact the Oxfordshire helpline. The helpline will direct you to the best service for your needs – including referral to us through the MARAC if we are the right service for you.

If you are a professional, for general information about DASH risk assessment and MARACs, please visit Tools for Professionals.

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