Domestic Abuse Multi-Agency Referral Unit

DAMARU is a point of contact for agencies and service users with domestic abuse, sexual violence and honour based violence issues. It is a range of different agencies that work together to coordinate the services provided by the Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service (IDVAs), Cambridgeshire Constabulary, MARAC and other relevant agencies. The unit also coordinates the Sanctuary Scheme which aims to secure the house of domestic abuse victims who do not wish to leave their own home.

Benefits of the MARU

Having agencies and services such as the police, IDVAs, Refuge and Women's Aid working closely together in the same team provides a more efficient risk assessment and referral process for cases. It also improves communication and ensures better collaboration between all the partner agencies. This close working ensures there is an appropriate response given to survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and honour based violence in order to reduce levels of risk and reoffending.

Both charities work alongside the MARU while continuing to provide their direct access services to those who wish to use it.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

The MARAC is a victim-focused meeting where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic abuse between criminal justice, health, child protection, housing practitioners, IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) as well as other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

A bespoke action plan is then jointly devised and agreed for each victim. MARAC meetings are held weekly both face to face and via conference call with all core relevant agencies.

Determining an individual at high-risk

Practitioners are required to carry out a risk-assessment. Although there are a variety of risk-assessments available across the country, Cambridgeshire Domestic Violence Partnership has identified that the CAADA Risk Assessment model is the most relevant to the MARAC process.

Please contact the MARAC administrator for an application form and CAADA Dash RIC. The threshold for an application to MARAC is 17 or more on the CAADA Dash and/or on evidenced professional judgement.

You can contact MARAC on 01480 847 717 or marac@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

How do practitioners refer to the MARAC?

Once a high-risk case has been identified, the practitioner contacts the MARAC administrator to ascertain whether or not a referral has already been made to MARAC by another agency. Referrals should be submitted to the MARAC administrator.  

What happens if the abuse continues?

The government has said that all subsequent incidents of abuse (which occur within 12 months of the original MARAC hearing) should be re-referred to the MARAC immediately. Therefore, the same process as used in the initial referral should be followed. Incidents that would constitute a re-referral include: