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Luton Borough Council



What is a MARAC?

The MARAC is a victim-focused meeting where information is shared on the highest risk cases of domestic abuse between:
  • criminal justice agencies
  • health
  • child protection
  • housing practitioners
  • IDVAs (independent domestic violence advisers)
  • other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors

A safety plan for each victim is then created. MARAC meetings are held on a monthly basis.

The purpose of the MARAC

The purpose of the MARAC is to improve the safety of high risk victims of domestic abuse and their children or other vulnerable dependants. The complexities of domestic abuse mean that no one agency can achieve this on their own.
By sharing information from a range of agencies, the MARAC can obtain a full picture of what is going on and the risks faced by the victim, their children or any other vulnerable dependants in the household and a multi agency action plan can address those risks.

Who attends a MARAC?

A number of different agencies attend the MARAC. If the victim, perpetrator or children are involved with any agencies that do not normally attend, those agencies will be invited to the meeting.

How are referrals made to the MARAC?

If domestic abuse is disclosed, the risk indicator checklist or DASH (domestic abuse, stalking and honour based violence) is the assessment tool used to determine whether cases meet the threshold for a MARAC intervention.
It should be completed with the client and if it meets the referral criteria it should be referred to the MARAC (please see referral criteria guidance below). Referrals into the MARAC are only made by professional agencies; there is no self-referral.
There may be cases where the DASH checklist does not meet with the threshold for referral. 
Professional judgment should be exercised at all times and in cases where there is an absence of full information or based on your experience you believe it should be referred anyway, please contact the MARAC Coordinator to discuss it.
If the DASH risk assessment indicates a referral to MARAC is required, or there is reason to believe a referral is needed, then further information can be obtained from your agency's MARAC representative.
Every agency has a MARAC representative and their role and responsibilities are set out in the documents below, if you do not know who this is, please contact the MARAC coordinator.

What is the DASH?

The DASH is a risk indicator checklist developed from analysis of previous domestic abuse homicides. DASH can be used by practitioners from any agency without specific training and should be completed whenever domestic abuse is identified or disclosure of abuse is made.
A copy of the Luton DASH risk assessment can be downloaded below as part of the Referral form.

Does the victim need to go to the domestic abuse MARAC?

Victims do not attend the meeting; it is just the workers from the different agencies who attend. But if the victim wants to let the MARAC meeting know about anything affecting their safety, or things they need help with, the IDVA will convey this to the meeting. They will usually represent the victim at the meeting.

The Independent Domestic Violence Advisers service (IDVA)

The IDVA’s provide a service which is independent of the police or council, or any other agency. The service was established to provide information and support to those at high risk from domestic abuse.
This sometimes means supporting victims through court proceedings, but can involve a range of other options to improve the safety of victims and any children involved.


The MARAC will respect the victim's right to privacy and confidentiality. Any information resulting from the meeting will be kept secure and not shared with the perpetrator. Everybody at the MARAC has to sign a confidentiality agreement before the meeting begins.

What happens after a MARAC?

After a MARAC the IDVA will normally contact the victim about the meeting. They will let them know about the help and support that agencies are offering, which may be:
  • arranging for a safety marker to be placed on a victims address
  • providing extra security at home or helping with housing issues
  • ensuring schools do not allow children to leave with anyone but you
  • asking a health visitor or other professional to check on well-being
The IDVA’s will usually get in touch and offer support and advice. They also know about other domestic abuse support services

What happens if the abuse continues?

Any 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:
  • violence (to the person or property) or threats of violence
  • where there is a pattern of stalking or harassment
  • where rape or sexual abuse is disclosed
  • where professional judgement indicates that there should be a further referral

MARAC referral form

A MARAC referral form is available to download below along with guidance on how to complete it. However in Luton an online system allows referrals to be made straight away so that other agencies may view them in order to provide any additional information.
If you require training in the system, then please contact your MARAC representative or contact the MARAC coordinator.


Further information is available:

Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership (BDAP)

BDAP together key agencies across Bedfordshire to:
  • raise awareness about domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships
  • deliver services to support those affected by abuse
  • work together to improve our local response
They strive to bring all local agencies working together to ensure a coordinated response to domestic abuse across Bedfordshire.


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