​Responding effectively to women experiencing severe abuse: identifying key components of a British advocacy intervention

Author(s) Howarth, Emma and Amanda Robinson
Title Responding effectively to women experiencing severe abuse: identifying key components of a British advocacy intervention
Source Violence Against Women, Published online before print August 2015, pp. 1-23
Date 2015
Document type Journal article
CoverageUnited Kingdom
Summary This article evaluates the effectiveness of Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) services. The IDVA was established in Britain in 2005 and there are approximately 1,000 services available. The aim of the IDVA is to provide advice and support to high-risk survivors and offers short-term support, addressing immediate risks to safety, and barriers to service utilisation. Data for the study was sourced from 2,427 female survivors accessing IDVA in the first time period and of these 48.1% provided data at the second time period of the study. The study measures included socio-demographic and referral information; risk factors; intervention received; frequency of contact with the IDVA; and safety. It was found that the complexity of women's cases needed multifaceted intervention that included frequent contact access to a range of community services. Positive outcomes were recorded against a range of measures and by case closure the majority of women had reported the abuse had stopped, or mostly stopped and most felt safer. The authors conclude that within the context of the IDVA model access to multiple community resources together with frequent contact with an IDVA appears to be the most effective way to tackle reducing severe domestic abuse.
Keywords Domestic abuse; risk assessment; interagency; severe abuse; advocacy
Topic Domestic violence