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What is a MARAC?

A Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) is a meeting where information is shared on domestic abuse cases deemed to be high risk. Representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, probation and other specialists may attend.

The meeting combines up to date risk information with a comprehensive assessment of a victim’s needs and links them, their children and the perpetrator to appropriate services.

The victim does not attend the meeting but is usually represented by an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor who will speak to them before the meeting and be their ‘voice’, contributing on their behalf.

What is the aim of MARAC?

MARAC aims to share information to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of victims and their children.

The primary focus is to safeguard the adult victim, but it will also make links with relevant agencies and services 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.

It aims to support the victim and their children whilst also determining the level of risk posed by the perpetrator, both to the individuals involved and the wider community. 

The multiagency meeting will also construct a safety plan to provide professional support to all of those at risk, and to reduce the risk of harm. This could include emotional support for the victim or the children, supporting them in accessing safe accommodation or moving home or supporting them through the Criminal Justice System.

In addition, MARAC seeks to improve agency accountability and improve support for staff involved in high risk domestic abuse cases.

Who can be referred to MARAC?

Anyone aged 16 or over can be referred to MARAC. The government definition of domestic abuse acknowledges that young people can be both victims and perpetrators.

A MARAC perpetrator can be a partner from an intimate relationship, a sibling, parent, adult child, grandparent, in-law or step family member.

In cases of honour based crime, a perpetrator may also be an aunt, uncle, cousin or wider family member.