An Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) is accredited and offers support  to  victims of domestic violence who are at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.


If you are going to court as a witness or victim of domestic violence you can request free support from your local IDVA worker at Safer Preston. The IDVA is the key point of contact for you as a survivor of domestic abuse throughout the court process and longer term can refer you to another support service.

The IDVA is there for you. Court procedures can be very confusing; if you’re not sure about any of the process, just ask.

We provide advice and information about options to improve your safety and that of your children.

We act on your behalf exploring your options through the civil and or criminal courts system.

The service is independent of the police and other statutory agencies.

Court Process

The specialist domestic violence court will be held at Preston Magistrates court on Wednesday each week, where dedicated prosecutors and specially trained magistrates will deal with your case.

Going to court as a witness or as a victim of a crime can be a worrying experience especially if it is your first time and if you are unsure about what to expect.
Especially if the defendant is someone you are or have been in a relationship with.

The IDVA can liaise with the witness service to arrange a pre court visit for you where you can have a look around a courtroom and familiarise yourself with what to expect on the day you are called to give evidence.

If necessary the IDVA can request that special measures, screens etc are available for you on the hearing day.

Safer Preston have workers that speak Polish, Guajarati, Urdu and Punjabi. For information or a confidential chat please call 01772 921823

What does an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor do?

The main purpose of independent domestic violence advisors (IDVA) is to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.  Serving as a victim’s primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans.

We are pro-active in implementing the plans, which address immediate safety, including practical steps to protect themselves and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the MARAC (see below) as well as sanctions and remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, housing options and services available through other organisations. IDVAs support and work over the short- to medium-term to put victims on the path to long-term safety. We have received specialist accredited training and hold a nationally recognised qualification.

Since they work with the highest risk cases, IDVAs are most effective as part of an IDVA service and within a multi-agency framework. The IDVA’s role in all multi-agency settings is to keep the client’s perspective and safety at the centre of proceedings.

Studies have shown that when high risk clients engage with an IDVA, there are clear and measurable improvements in safety, including a reduction in the escalation and severity of abuse and a reduction or even cessation in repeat incidents of abuse.

At Safer Preston we will ask a serious of questions that will enable us to determine what level of risk we think you are. After we have assessed your risk we will refer you to one of our case workers.

If you are assessed as being high risk we will refer your case to a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference).

What is a MARAC?

The main aim of the MARAC is to reduce the risk of serious harm and to increase the safety, health and well being of victims of domestic violence.

In a MARAC local agencies will meet to discuss the highest risk victims and develop a safety plan around the victim.

Information about the risk faced by those victims, the actions needed to ensure safety, the resources available locally will be shared to create a risk management plan involving all agencies.


To access these services you have to be over 16 and experiencing domestic violence. You also have to live within the boundaries of Preston City Council.

If you are assessed as not being eligible for the IDVA service you will be offered information and advice on what other services are available locally to help.

How to access the service:

Telephone: 01772 921823 to speak to our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors Monday to Friday 9-6pm

Outside these hours call the Out of Hours number: 08448 114350


Referral Form IDVA

You may also want to contact:

Public Protection Unit: 101
Victim Support: 0845 3732456
Witness care: 01772 208100
Women’s Aid: 08082000247
Male advice line: 0845 0646800
Broken rainbow (LGBT): 08452 604460
Respect: 020 8563 8523

(perpetrators programme and support)