Independent Domestic Violence Advisors

Helping to keep you safe from abuse

What is an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor?

Our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) work across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset with men and women who are at very high risk of domestic abuse. They have specialist knowledge and understanding of the impact that domestic abuse has on individuals, their children and families, and they provide victims with confidential and non-judgemental support.

They also work with other agencies to ensure victims receive the best possible support and advice. This includes taking practical steps to increase the safety of victims and their children, and to look at longer term solutions to staying safe.

IDVA workers will ensure that they keep the victim’s perspective and safety at the centre of any work with other agencies, and are effectively the voice of the victim. They also aim to help empower victims to make positive changes in their lives.

What other support will an IDVA worker provide?

If you are referred to our IDVA services, your IDVA worker will also:

  • Work with you to make a safety plan tailored to your needs to help keep you and, if you have any, your children, safe.
  • Offer crisis intervention.
  • Support you to increase your security and safety at both home and work.
  • Help and support you through dealings with police and any court proceedings.
  • Work with other agencies to reduce your risk of harm from your abuser.
  • Provide you with information, and help you to access specialist services like counselling, housing advice, legal services and refuge provision. 

How can I be referred to BCHA’s IDVA services?

BCHA’s IDVA services do not take self-referrals. If you need the support of our IDVA services, you must be referred through the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) referral route.

MARAC is a local meeting where information about high risk domestic abuse victims is shared between local agencies, for example, the police, health workers, social workers and housing services. The purpose of the MARAC is to produce a multi-agency safety plan to support your safety and reduce your risk of serious or further harm from domestic abuse. For more information about MARAC and how you can be referred, please click here. 

Once our IDVA service receives a referral from the MARAC, one of our friendly IDVAs will contact you within 24-48hrs. They will explain why they are calling and arrange a support meeting with you, usually within one to two weeks.

For more information about this service, call our Customer Services Team on 01202 410500, or email

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