Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

How would you spend £250m? Bins or lives?

On emptying the bins each week?  Really? Of how about some other options?

1. Keeping legal aid in private law family cases as it stands today – keeping thousands of vulnerable people, especially children safe and offering justice to the most needy

2. Employing 400 IDVAs across the health service for 20 years- YES – 20 years – offering support to the 40,000+ high risk victims who do not access the criminal justice system.

3. Employ all IDVAs and all MARAC coordinators for 8 years and save….well over a £1bn.

How can emptying bins be a better decision??

September 14, 2011

Can you help us – MARAC data (plus lunch)?

We are looking for volunteer MARACs to do a short analysis of outcomes from MARAC.  As you know, we collect the data from over 200 MARACs nationally and each collects the figure for their local repeat rates.  We know however, that owing to pressures on capacity, some MARACs are not recording as ‘repeats’ those cases where there have been further incidents, but where they are no longer deemed to meet the MARAC threshold.  We have written extensively on why we do not recommend this, and I won’t rehearse the arguments here – suffice to say that we need to get a more accurate picture of repeat victimisation and also harm reduction as a result of MARAC.  To do this we would like to track a dip sample of about 20 MARAC cases in 10 different areas, (making 200 cases in all for those who like totals), a record the number of police call outs for the 12 months pre MARAC and the 12 months post MARAC.  We have had one very noble ‘volunteer’ who has done this for one MARAC and the results are really encouraging.  It allows us to see for one agency only, how often they were called to a household, for what type of offence and how much it cost them before the MARAC, and then after.

I think that this will give us a clearer picture about impact and is something that we can then trace across multiple other agencies so that we get the full picture of safety.  But first things first – if you have time to come to our office either in London or Bristol, meet with other coordinators and Chairs, for a briefing, and then spend half a day doing the research in your office, please let me know on

This is really important so if you can help, please be in touch.  Thank you.

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September 6, 2011

So the summer is over – what next?

After a rather long ‘pause’ without any blogging, it is time to get back to communicating again.  I have returned from a few weeks with barely a thought of domestic abuse (!), to some new developments at CAADA.  Loyal CAADA followers will know that we work hard at using evidence to shape the way we develop and the services that we offer.  So, going back to the research in Safety in Numbers, we found that well over half of perpetrators in the study had alcohol problems and over a third had substance misuse issues.  We know that this can really increase the risks faced by victims and their children – but traditionally IDVAs have told us that they do not feel very confident in addressing the consequences of these problems – including when the victim also has substance misuse problems.  More recently, we have seen that where a substance misuse practitioner is co-located with an IDVA team, the disclosure of these problems among victims is much higher.

We are delighted to be working with Action on Addiction, the only UK charity working across the addiction field in research, prevention, treatment, professional education and family support, to create our second CPD module – ‘Substance Misuse and Domestic Abuse – Providing a Risk Led Response.’  This course is starting later this month and we hope will represent another step forward in our work to offer victims of abuse the support that they need to be safe.  I will write more here as we get feedback on how the course is received by practitioners.  There is more information on the training at