What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence means violence employed by the current or former spouse or an intimate partner, the victim´s own child or his/her partner´s child, other close relative or another person close to the victim.

All parties are affected. Domestic violence affects the health and wellbeing of all the parties involved. It can lead to a physical or psychological injury, disturbed development, deprivation, or even death. Exposure to violence between family members is as damaging to a child as being subject to direct violence.

Intervention of violence and direct questioning are important. If you have questions about violence you can contact the Kuopio shelter by phone 017-183393, Lastentie 1A, B-door, 70620 KUOPIO.

Forms of violence

Domestic violence can be:

  • physical
  • psychological
  • sexual
  • abuse
  • negligence
  • economic
  • cultural or religious violence

MARAC, Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference

MARAC is a victim-focused information sharing and risk management meeting attended by all key agencies, where high risk cases are discussed. The role of MARAC is to facilitate, monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable appropriate actions to be taken to increase public safety. In a single meeting, MARAC combines up to date risk information with a timely assessment of a victim´s needs and links those directly to the provision of appropriate services for all those involved in a domestic abuse case: victim, children and perpetrator.

What are the aims of a MARAC?

  • to share information to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of victims - adults and their children
  • to determine whether the perpetrator poses a significant risk to any particular individual or to the general community
  • to identify outstanding aspects of risk assessment in regard to the victim, children or perpetrator that need referral or progress
  • to pull together a risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm
  • to reduce repeat victimization
  • to improve agency accountability and
  • improve support for staff involved in high risk domestic abuse cases

What happens first?

First, you will have the opportunity to discuss your experiences of violence in confidence with a professional, who will also fill in a risk assessment form with you. The MARAC process will be started only if you consent to it. You can either seek help yourself or an official involved in the MARAC process, such as a police officer, can set the process in motion. You will only need to contact one official.

After the initial violence enquiry and assessment, the professionals will have a meeting where they will draw up the safety plan and assign a support person for you. The purpose of the safety plan is to take into account your specific needs, hopes and resources.