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IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) is a general practice-based Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) training, support and referral programme covering all practices in Cardiff and the Vale.

Bawso’s IRIS project ensures that primary care practitioners in Cardiff and the Vale can respond effectively to domestic violence and abuse and be aware that specialist support is available for patients. The programme’s specialist Advocate Educators (AE’s) work together with the clinical lead to train clinical and non clinical staff about domestic violence and abuse in Cardiff and the Vale. The AE’s are a point of contact for women identified by practice staff, to be affected by domestic abuse or other violence.

The IRIS Project primarily supports women aged 16 and above who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse by a current partner, ex-partner or adult family member. However, Bawso’s IRIS also recognises that abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation and the programme will carry out initial support and safeguarding to male survivors of domestic violence and abuse, and survivors in LGBT relationships.

Upon referral, the AE will carry out a risk assessment and put safety plans in place. The victim will receive emotional and practical support according to their support needs. This support could include access to counselling services, legal advice, dealing with debt and benefits issues, access to safe accommodation, resolving housing issues and providing access to trainings programmes. They will have access to Bawso’s other support services and personal development programmes including Recovery Toolkit, Trauma Recovery Health and Wellbeing Sessions, and Domestic Abuse Awareness which address the emotional effects of domestic abuse. This help equips them with the tools and strategies needed to keep themselves safe and take control of their lives.

The AE will work closely with other specialist support providers and where required will make referrals to other services such as Children and Adult Safeguarding, MARAC and Housing Options.

IRIS trained practices are ‘domestic abuse aware’ and are a safe place to disclose abuse and access support. For more information on IRIS please contact us on