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Domestic Abuse

Page last updated: 12/06/2020

​Domestic abuse  can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. The majority of victims of domestic abuse are women but it can happen to men too.  The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Everyone has arguments and may disagree with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time, however anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s or family member's reaction is being abused. It can begin at any stage of the relationship. Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off and incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time.

In Essex, the Southend / Essex / Thurrock domestic abuse partnership website provides victims, perpetrators and professionals with a directory to services and a wide range of resources.  Essex Police also provide advice and guidance about domestic abuse and signpost to support services.  Further information on domestic abuse in Essex is available on the Essex Children & Families practice guidance website and also through the Essex Safeguarding Children Board

This quick reference guide provides a useful oversight of domestic abuse arrangements in Essex.


Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)

The MARAC is a victim focused information sharing and risk management meeting attended by key agencies where high risk case are discussed.  A domestic abuse specialist (IDVA), police, children's social services, health and other relevant agencies all share information about the victim, the family and perpetrator, to enable them to devise an action plan to reduce risk for each victim.   When a high risk domestic incident has been identified, using a DASH risk assessment, each agency will be expected to continue to follow their safeguarding procedures and take necessary action on cases in advance of a decision from the MARAC, to ensure there is no  delay in offering interventions to protect and support the children and adults involved. For example, children's social care will undertake section 17 or section 47 enquiries if required in response to referral information received. Practitioners will research and collate relevant information following a referral into MARAC and this will be discussed within the MARAC where a multi-agency action plan will be agreed to mitigate the risk.  There is an Education Liaison Officer situated in the MARAC team (MARAT) who works with schools to provide relevant information from Education at the MARAC.

If schools wish to refer a case for MARAC, they should do so on the referral form​​​ and send it to: