The elimination of domestic violence requires an integrated approach, as well as the combined skills, commitment and responsibilities of all government departments, criminal justice agencies, local domestic violence partnerships and relevant voluntary and statutory organisations.
We recognise, in order to achieve our vision of eliminating domestic violence, a commitment to a shared process across all relevant departments and agencies, is required. We are fully committed to working in partnership with a range of departments and agencies.
Tackling Violence @ Home
We are active participants in the Regional Strategic Group of Tackling Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse, chaired by Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSS&PS) and Department of Justice. We have representation on:
- Regional Strategic Group
- Protection and Justice Sub Group
- Prevention and Support Sub Group
- Children and Young People’s Sub Group
Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC)
We are active participants in the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs). These have been rolled out across Northern Ireland as an essential protection mechanism for high risk victims of domestic violence. We have supported this positive development by sitting on the Regional MARAC Operational Group, which has been established to ensure a high standard of practice and consistency in approach.
Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme
We work in partnership with Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) who deliver a court mandated programme, Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP). Women’s Aid groups provide women’s safety workers to the four PBNI areas in Northern Ireland where the programme is run. Women’s safety workers increase the protection and safety of women, partners and ex partners and children of perpetrators on the IDAP programme.
In February 2011, we secured a tender from the Department of Justice, in partnership with Migrant Help, to continue to provide support for women victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. We currently work with two local Women’s Aid groups to provide this support.
Engagement with Trade Unions
As part of our ongoing engagement with Trade Unions in Northern Ireland, who have been enormously supportive of our work, we addressed the NIPSA Equality of Opportunity Committee in February 2011.Wehighlighted the issue of welfare reform and its impact on the work of Women’s Aid and on the plight of women with no recourse to public funds. We also delivered a presentation on this issue and that of barriers to justice to UNISON in March 2011.
Northern Ireland Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership
We welcome the establishment of the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) with a responsibility for integrated planning. Annie Campbell, Director of Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland, sits on this regional body. Women’s Aid groups are represented across Trust areas in planning structures, including outcomes groups and locality planning groups and family support hubs. Such opportunities for partnership working and planning enable effective representation of domestic and sexual violence as a key issue affecting children and young people, at a strategic level.
Women’s Aid is committed to working in partnership and has, over the past years, built up an extensive network of collaborative and strategic partnerships with a range of agencies. A full list of partners can be found in our latest Annual Report.