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Domestic Violence

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to create a statutory duty to provide services for domestic violence victims. (105327)

I have been asked to reply.

Currently, there are two key statutory mechanisms for protecting the public: Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), and Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs). The former are concerned with managing offenders living in the community who pose a risk to public safety, while the latter focus on children who are in need of care or at risk.

Recently, a new body has been developed: the MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference). MARACs focus on the adult victims of domestic violence, and seek to intervene with victims at high risk of repeat victimisation, serious injury or homicide.

While not statutory, MARACs are proving to be highly effective at preventing homicides, and in dramatically reducing repeat attacks. In Cardiff, for example, 42 per cent. of victims experienced no repeat incidents.

We are rolling out MARACs to more Specialist Domestic Violence Court areas, and will be monitoring their effectiveness. Targets in reductions for repeat victimisation following the introduction of MARACs are also increasingly being included in local area agreements.