IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) is a general practice based domestic abuse and sexual violence training and referral programme. The IRIS scheme is the first of its kind in Wales and was launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner together with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board chair, Maria Battle. Twenty five practices across Cardiff and the Vale have been carefully selected to be a part of this innovative project.
Early identification of domestic violence and abuse is a priority for South Wales Police and the Commissioner, and health has been consistently identified as the most important link to achieving this.
Health and local specialist partners will be funded by South Wales Police and the Commissioner to collaborate on delivering the IRIS programme over the next two years. The Cardiff and Vale model rests on two part time advocate educators who will work across 25 practices across the area.
The advocate educators are specialist domestic violence and abuse workers who are linked to the practices and based in BAWSO and Cardiff Women’s Aid. The advocate educator provides training to practice teams and acts as an ongoing consultant as well as the person to whom they directly refer patients for expert advocacy.
We are supporting earlier identification and diversion to appropriate support as we know this will have an impact on police demand, as well as preventing further suffering. This victim centred approach will also provide police officers the opportunity to work more closely with the GPs involved, which will enhance local knowledge of pathways and support available to victims.
In partnership with Cwm Taf UHB and third sector organisations the IRIS model was launched in GP surgeries in Cwm Taf in November 2015.
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