The cost of Domestic abuse to the health service is vast, barring mental health, it averages under £2 billion per year with the major costs being to GPs and hospitals.

We know, that often health professionals such as GPs, nurses and midwives are the first point of contact to those who are suffering abuse and so health professionals have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in people’s lives.

Those who find themselves in hospitals are often in immediate danger or in crisis and so the response provided needs to be in line with the severity of the situation and person centred.

IRIS programme

GPs are often the only professionals who engage with both the perpetrator and the victim and are therefore in a unique position to see and hear invaluable information in preventing domestic abuse-related homicides. Advance recognises the need to improve access to specialist support for those in health settings who are experiencing domestic abuse.

The IRIS model is a domestic abuse and violence training, support and referral programme for GP practices delivered by Advance in partnership with Asian Women’s Resource Centre within the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham. This aims to equip health professionals with improved understanding of domestic abuse and its relevance to health, a better knowledge and understanding on how to respond and ask appropriately about domestic abuse, how to contact and refer to a domestic abuse specialist and the importance of safeguarding in regard to domestic abuse.

Resulting in improved safety for women and access to support and intervention. It also offers women a safe place in which to disclose and a place to have their voices listened to.

For support, contact Advance via the following and ask for the IRIS worker:

A specialist team will be available to listen to your concerns and support you no matter what you decide.