New bid to rescue victims of domestic abuse

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Some women are abused again and again, without getting the priority help high-risk victims should be able to expect.

But a new system being developed in East Dunbartonshire could be set to change all that.

With its peculiar acronym - MARAC - and hard-to-remember name, the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferencing scheme aims to break the bureaucratic logjam which can sometimes seem to surround even urgent cases.

Only a few decades ago there was virtually no help available for victims of domestic abuse, and violent husbands and partners were only rarely brought to book.

Now that abuse in the home has finally become a live issue the focus is on how to best manage information in order to bring the most effective help to people, usually women, in desperate need of rescue.

The launch of the local MARAC follows a proposal from Empowered (Violence Against Women Partnership), and the scheme centres on a regular local meeting where information is shared on the worst abuse cases.

It allows the various statutory groups involved (for example police, and the council) to share information and find ways of increasing safety for victims and their children.

The group then creates one multi-agency safety plan to tackle the risks and increase the safety and wellbeing of victims and potential victims.

Councl leader Councillor Rhondda Geekie, chairwoman of the Community Planning Partnership Board, said: “At the heart of MARAC is the understanding that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim to be

able to identify and manage the risks, but all may have different insights that are crucial to their safety.

“The aim is to reduce repeat victimisation, reduce risk to victims and others, including children, and address the behaviour of the perpetrator more effectively.

“It is vital that agencies work together to reduce risk and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.