Independent Domestic Violence Advice Service

Free support and advice for women and girls, empowering victims /survivors by taking positive action

Our aims...

One in four women experience domestic violence at some time in their lives and thousands of children are affected by witnessing or experiencing abuse in their homes.
Bolton adopts a multi-agency approach to tackling domestic violence and recognises the importance of a co-ordinated community response, including the provision of dedicated advice and assistance from an INDEPENDENT source.

The IDVA service is run by local charity Endeavour and provides an independent specialised confidential FREE service for HIGH RISK victims /survivors of domestic violence.

There is a need for bespoke support and care for all the family to complement other specialist services and to maximise take-up of these services.

Language does not have to be a barrier. All victims of domestic violence can make their voices heard by speaking to us through language line.

What We Offer...

The Independent Domestic Violence Advice Service is a personal service designed to support victims / survivors whose cases are subject to the MARAC process (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference).

If you have been identified as at risk by the MARAC process you will be contacted by an IDVA. If you accept their services you will first of all meet with the advocate on a one-to-one basis to discuss your options.

As a result of this meeting there will normally be a support plan drawn up between you and your IDVA. The plan will include actions that both you and your advocate will agree to complete.

Actions undertaken by your advocate will normally involve contacting all, or some of the MARAC agencies on your behalf. Your advocate will also act as your representative at the MARAC meetings conveying your thoughts, facilitating a two-way process and also informing you of any plans arising from the meeting.

Your advocate will be a single point of contact for you and ALL other agencies in an effort to improve your safety and that of your family.

  • Risk assessment
  • Risk management
  • Safety planning
  • Initial crisis support - including information on your options
  • Referral to other local agencies
  • Assistance with other services eg. forced marriage
  • Support throughout the Criminal Justice Process

How this can help the families you work with...

Home based support will assist each family member in:

  • Getting over particular experiences of domestic violence
  • Finding ways of settling in, making new friends and coping with their new experiences
  • Addressing early signs of anti-social behaviour in children by working in partnership with relevant agencies
  • Taking-up and accessing specialist support services
  • Developing problem solving and coping strategies, both in terms of practical problems, as well as dealing with their emotions

If you use the service...

The IDVA service is committed to ensuring confidentiality for everyone who uses the service in order to maximise your safety and the safety of your children.

We will always seek to obtain your consent to share information with other agencies.

Exceptions may occur when it is considered that seeking consent may put you at significant risk of harm, or where it is thought a child is at risk of suffering significant harm.

Your referral to MARAC...

How do I become subject to a MARAC?
Recently you may have completed a risk assessment with an agency who is working with you e.g. your Health Visitor. As a result of that assessment you have been identified as being at HIGH RISK of experiencing ongoing domestic violence and a MARAC referral will have been made. A MARAC referral simply means that the information gathered during the risk assessment is sent to the MARAC co-ordinator and the IDVA service.

What next?

Within 48 hours of receiving the referral, the Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) will contact you regarding the service and arrange to visit you. The police may also contact you at this time.

What happens at MARAC?

At the next MARAC meeting actions are agreed that are designed specially to reduce the risk to you and your family. They must be completed, where possible, before the next monthly meeting. Your advocate will contact you to discuss these actions.

Adult Services
Children’s Services
Bolton at Home
Health Services
IDVA Services
Local Education Authority
Victim Support
Women’s Support Services


Quotes from families who have used the
Pet Service, IDVA Service and Safe Haven Project