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4.17 MARAC

RELATED CHAPTER

Domestic Violence and Abuse Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in May 2014. Contact details were added in Section 3, Process. New Section 6, Additional Information was added, including a link to NICE guidance - Domestic Violence And Abuse: How Health Services, Social Care and the Organisations They Work With Can Respond Effectively.


Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Attendance
  3. Process
  4. Legal
  5. Welfare Benefits for Women Fleeing Abuse
  6. Additional Information

    Appendix 1: Greater Manchester MARAC Referral Form


1. Purpose

MARAC is a multi-agency meeting which facilitates the risk assessment process for individuals and their families who are at risk of domestic violence and abuse. Organisations are invited to share information with a view to identifying those at "very high" risk of domestic violence and abuse. Where very high risk has been identified, a multi-agency action plan is developed to support all those at risk.


2. Attendance

The following agencies are represented:-

  • Children's Social Care;
  • Adult Social Care;
  • Police;
  • Probation;
  • CCG;
  • Local Hospital;
  • Education;
  • Housing;
  • Victim Support.


3. Process

The Greater Manchester MARAC Operating Process can be accessed here (see MARAC Operating Protocol).

Referrals to MARAC can be made by any agency using the Appendix 1: Greater Manchester MARAC Referral Form and sent to the centralised MARAC Coordinators Team at MARAC@gmp.police.uk, Tel: 0161 586 3569.

MARAC is held every four weeks

Minutes will be copied to all those present at the meeting.


4. Legal

Individuals have recourse to the law for protection against violence in the home. Individuals should be advised to seek legal advice regarding the best course of action.

The Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976 provides Non-Molestation and Ouster Injunction Orders which can be sought from the County Court. Emergency and Ex-parte Injunction Orders can be applied for via the Duty Judge or outside of court hours by a County Court judge. Women do not need to be married to apply for any of these orders.

The Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates Court Act 1987 provides Personal protection orders or Exclusion order, which can be applied for only by married women and are dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

The Family Law Act 1996 deals with Occupation Orders and Non-Molestation Orders Part IV. It also includes amendments to the Children Act 1989 and can be used in conjunction with Interim Care Orders and Emergency Protection Orders.

The Protection From Harassment Act 1997 provides legislation which includes protection from 'stalking' which can be useful in situations where the woman does not live with her aggressor.


5. Welfare Benefits for Women Fleeing Abuse

Financial independence can be a crucial factor in helping women make the decision to leave an abusive situation. Women should be advised to seek a consultation with a Welfare Rights Officer regarding her financial position should she leave.

In a crisis, when there is delay in accessing DSS benefits, help under Section 17 should be considered to help the decision process.

The most significant benefits are Income Support, Child Benefit, Family Credit, Housing Benefit, Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants. Updated information regarding these benefits can be obtained from the Benefits Advice and Welfare Rights.

For some women their immigration status will be unclear and will affect their right to benefit. These women will therefore require additional help including legal advice.

In circumstances where there is 'an intention to return' it is possible to have Housing Benefit paid for the refuge and the property. This can be agreed for up to 52 weeks, giving women time to reflect on their situation and make choices about housing and location.


6. Additional Information

NICE guidance - Domestic Violence And Abuse: How Health Services, Social Care and the Organisations They Work With Can Respond Effectively.


Appendix 1: Greater Manchester MARAC Referral Form

Click here to view Appendix 1: Greater Manchester MARAC Referral Form.

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