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Today we have the following Refuge vacancies:


Are you frightened that your partner might seriously hurt you or your children?  Have you called the police out to protect you when your partner becomes violent?  Has he used or threatened to use weapons against you?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, then you could benefit from the services of our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors – or IDVAs.

Independent Domestic Violence Advisors are highly trained support workers who specialise in working with victims of domestic abuse who are assessed as being at high risk of harm. They work closely with agencies such as the police, children’s services and legal advisors to help you to assess the risk you are under, and to find the best ways of managing those risks in order to ensure your safety.

IDVAs can support you and your children - if you have any - in a number of ways:

  • By helping you to decide if you wish to report the abuse to the police;
  • By providing you with information about legal action that you can take to protect yourself in the criminal or civil courts;
  • By ensuring that your voice is heard at MARAC and talking to you about what happened at the meeting afterwards;
  • By offering you practical and emotional support as well as safety planning;
  • By referring you to other services provided by West Mercia Women’s Aid or other specialist providers in order to help you to recover from your experience of abuse and move on with your life in safety.

Another way in which risks can be managed is through Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences, otherwise known as MARACs. These monthly meetings – focused on the needs and safety of the victim - offer a co-ordinated community response from all those agencies involved in tackling domestic abuse, such as police, children’s services, housing and the health service.  At MARAC a plan is developed to help you to be safer and to ensure that all agencies take appropriate action to reduce future harm to both you and your children.  The IDVAs always attend MARACs and represent your voice at the meeting, making sure that your needs and wishes are heard and taken into consideration when the plan is put together.

The IDVA role is a vital one in supporting those who are at high risk from suffering imminent and/or escalating violence.  The benefits of MARACs have proved to be substantial, with examples of actions including arranging for a police officer to check on a victim’s welfare, providing extra security measures in the home, ensuring that schools do not allow children to leave with anyone who may put them at risk and enlisting the help of health visitors and midwives.

These specialist workers provide a lifeline for victims at a time when they are most vulnerable and support them to find the courage and the confidence to make informed decisions on the way forward.  

The message from West Mercia Women’s Aid is simple, please don’t suffer in silence.

If you think you might need help from our IDVA service, please contact:

24hr Domestic Abuse Helpline Numbers:

Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin: 0800 783 1359
Worcestershire: 0800 980 3331

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