• support the local commissioning, implementation, maintenance and growth of the IRIS programme. This includes bid development, training for trainers, ongoing support, national analysis and monitoring.

  • collaborate with partners to develop innovative, evidence-based health interventions for those affected by gender based violence.

  • provide expert advice and consultancy in the field of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and health.

The scale of the problem: DVA and health
  • 26% of women experience domestic abuse in the course of their lifetime (CSEW, 2016), while for women attending general practice this figure can increase to 41% (Richardson et al, 2002).

  • Domestic abuse has devastating health impacts, affecting both the physical and mental health of survivors and their children.

  • The estimated annual cost of domestic abuse to health, excluding mental health costs, is £1.7bn (Walby, 2009).

  • 80% of women in a violent relationship seek help from health services and these are often a woman’s first, or only, point of contact (Department of Health).

  • On average two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales (Office for National Statistics, 2017).

Our flagship intervention, IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety), is a general practice-based domestic violence and abuse training and referral programme.
“Best, most informative and inspirational training I have been on in 30 years. Fantastic service, gives me hope for humanity, you’re doing an amazing job.”

IRIS trained clinician

“When I was asked about the abuse it gave me the confidence to talk about it to my doctor, knowing that I had someone supporting me, alongside me – it made me feel stronger.”

Patient referred through IRIS

“If my GP had not referred me I wouldn’t have known where to go for help. I’ve realised if I didn’t get this help I wouldn’t have got this far.”

Patient referred through IRIS

Our website is still in development so to find out more about the IRIS programme, commissioning and our work, please contact us:
Our staff team is:
Frequently Asked Questions

From 2007 when the IRIS trial began, the project was based within several organisations.  IRIS never existed as a standalone organisation before, just as a project name.  Each member of the staff team was employed by and based in separate third sector DVA agency.  Each person had a different line manager who was part of the IRIS steering group along with other specialists. It was felt for some time that this did not represent the most effective or efficient way of working or the best working and support structure for the staff team.

No, IRIS was not a standalone organisation previously. We have set up IRISi as a company limited by guarantee – a not for profit, social enterprise.  We will explore the benefits of becoming a charity in due course.

The move to a social enterprise should not in any way change the support and offer to our commissioned sites.  In fact, as a stand-alone organisation we hope to be able to make decisions more swiftly and efficiently, have more lobbying power and can also apply for a range of different funds and grants which were not open to us before.

IRISi receives no core funding and so our income is from a range of:

  • partnership work on research projects
  • donations
  • grants
  • fees from new sites buying the model
  • fees from training
  • fees from existing sites for the annual license fee
  • Donna Covey (Chair), CBE, Chief Executive, AVA
  • Gene Feder, OBE, Professor of Primary Health Care, University of Bristol
  • Andrew Wilson, Research Commercialisation Manager, University of Bristol
Our business approach is a work in progress as we develop as an organisation. Our challenges will be to:

  • raise sufficient funds to maintain our work and this will be through a variety of channels as detailed above plus applying for social finance and grants.
  • ensure sufficient staff resource and capacity to best support our commissioned sites, fundraise and develop the IRIS programme in new sites as well as develop new programmes in other areas of health and DVA.