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Domestic Abuse

Resources and guidance for professionals

Anyone can be a victim of abuse regardless of age, race, income, religion, belief, sex, disability, culture or sexual orientation. Domestic abuse can happen in couple relationships and between family members. Abuse can be psychological, physical, financial or emotional. It can include:

  • domestic abuse
  • domestic violence
  • control, for example, not being allowed to go where you want, when you want
  • coercion, for example, being forced to do things you don’t want to do
  • female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • forced marriage
  • human trafficking and modern day slavery
  • sex work or prostitution
  • sexual violence
  • sexual harassment


A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

After sharing all relevant information they have about a victim, the representatives discuss options for increasing the safety of the victim and turn these into a co-ordinated action plan. The primary focus of the MARAC is to safeguard the adult victim. The MARAC will also make links with other fora to safeguard children and manage the behaviour of the perpetrator.

At the heart of a 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.

The victim does not attend the meeting but is represented by an IDVA (Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor) who speaks on their behalf.

KBSP MARAC Guidance (2020)

Bristol MARAC Referral Form (2022)

Bristol MARAC Referral Criteria and Referral Guidance (2021)

Safe Lives DASH risk checklist

MARAC Leaflet for Victims (2021)

MARAC Leaflet for Professionals (2021)


Young People and Domestic Abuse

Safe Lives have created a Resource Spotlight on Young People and Domestic Abuse focusing on the experiences of young people (13 to 17 years) affected by domestic abuse and the professionals who support them. 

Bristol Ideal award for schools

The Bristol Ideal award looks at how schools can play a crucial role in preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence in the city. To achieve the Bristol Ideal award, schools need to follow a set of standards to tackle domestic and sexual violence and promote healthy relationships, respect and gender equality.

For more information visit the Bristol Healthy Schools website

Contact for more information or support.


Working with Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse

REPROVIDE is a 26-week group-based domestic violence perpetrator programme run by Splitz. For more information read this information leaflet for professionals.


Further Resources

Domestic abuse support for Bristol residents- Advice, support and resources for anyone affected by domestic abuse, including information about the covid-19 pandemic and domestic abuse. 

Conference resource pack - In 2018 the Bristol Safeguarding Children Boards Annual Conference was titled Violence within Families: What can Bristol do to break the cycle of abuse?