New Approach to Tackle Domestic Abuse

Public sector and voluntary sector bodies in Jersey have joined together to develop Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC); a new approach to helping victims of domestic abuse which will be launched this month.

Whilst development and subsequent implementation of MARAC has been led by States of Jersey Police, this has very much been a partnership approach under auspice of the Jersey Domestic Violence forum with strategic support from both the States Children’s & Adults Policy Group.

The MARAC is a forum that agrees collaborative action to prevent further harm to victims of domestic abuse and their children. It aims to reduce the risk of serious harm or homicide by identifying risk factors and supporting those affected.

The work is based on national best practice and concentrates on those cases where the victim is assessed as at a high risk of suffering serious harm.

The key role for the successful operation of MARAC is that of the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA): the primary point of contact for a victim.

Two IDVAs have been recruited and trained and will work with their clients from the point of crisis, supporting them through to court where appropriate, assessing their level of risk and developing practical safety plans.

Nick Hutchinson, Chairman of the Jersey Domestic Violence Forum, said: “We could not have reached this point without the support and willingness of interested parties to work together, nor, in particular, without the impetus that has come from the States of Jersey Police’s adoption of Domestic Abuse as a key priority. This initiative sits alongside existing services and it is exciting to be able to offer practical help to those who are affected by Domestic Abuse.”

Detective Inspector Mark Hafey, Head of the States of Jersey Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Too often the crimes committed and the harm caused as a result of domestic abuse is hidden away. We want to encourage more people to report these crimes to allow us to take positive action against the offender and support the family, friends and communities where they are occurring.”

Domestic Abuse remains a major problem for the island.

  • On average the States of Jersey Police attend three reports of domestic abuse every day.
  • In Jersey, 62% of all common & grave and criminal assaults against women are domestic and 21% of all common & grave and criminal assaults against men are domestic.
  • In Jersey, 39% of all recorded offences against the person are domestic.

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