IRISi is happy to share its latest National Report, presenting all the data and info collected from sites running the IRIS Programme in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland up to March 2022. We would like to highlight that, as a result of our collaborative work, we reached the 30,000 referrals milestone – which means that more than 30,000 service users were identified during consultations with IRIS trained GPs and then directly referred to an Advocate Educator, who is a Domestic Abuse specialist embedded in the clinical setting to offer support.
Operating since 2017, IRISi works to develop and deliver evidence-based and ground-breaking interventions, aiming to ensure holistic support to victims and survivors of Domestic Abuse (DA) and Domestic & Sexual Violence and Abuse (D&SVA), issues that disproportionately affect women and girls. We want to embed awareness within healthcare settings, offering a clear pathway to healthcare professionals so they can better identify and refer their patients to specialist services.
Our flagship intervention, IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) is a programme of training and support to improve the response to DA in general practice, which has been proven cost-effective and sustainable over time. In 2021, IRISi launched its second intervention, ADViSE, to support sexual health clinicians identify and respond to patients affected by D&SVA. Therefore, from 2023, the IRISi National Report will include data analyses for both IRIS and ADViSE programmes.
This latest National Report also celebrates a coming of age for IRISi, and brings 10 topics about our past, our present and our future, as summarised by Annie Howell, Development Director & Deputy CEO, “IRISi is planning to expand its scope and increase our partnership working in the healthcare and Gender-Based Violence sectors. We want to implement and develop models adapted for each healthcare setting so we can support all healthcare professionals to feel able to identify and respond to D&SVA”.
IRISi was a collaborator on the DRiDVA programme (Dentistry Responding in Domestic Violence and Abuse), using an adapted version of IRIS within dental surgeries. We are also exploring other areas of health including health visiting, lectures for medical students, reproductive health, fracture clinics, pharmacists, and paramedic services. If you would like to discuss any of these areas or have ideas for more, please contact us at email@example.com.
Here are some of the main findings presented in our latest National Report.
- In total, 57 sites have commissioned IRIS since November 2010.
- Between April 2021 and March 2022, the IRIS Programme was running in 39 areas across the UK and received 5,813 referrals.
- During the same period, all but one area of Wales had commissioned the IRIS Programme and 4 new sites came on board.
- There were 770 training sessions in the year 2021-22 and a total of 1,031 contacts between AEs and general practices (including attending safeguarding meetings or providing advice on individual patients).
- Demographics of IRIS Service Users: the average age of service users referred to IRIS was 40.6 years old. 97.0% of those referred were heterosexual. 63.2% classified themselves as White/White British, 20% Asian/Asian British, 8.1% Black/Black British, 3.4% Mixed and 5% other. 40.5% of service users referred had children and 2.5% were pregnant. 13.9% were disabled, 6.9 % reported alcohol use and 3.8% drug use.
- The most frequent type of abuse affecting service users was emotional abuse (87.6%), followed by psychological abuse (71.3%) and physical abuse (52.9%). Almost 90% of IRIS service users reported being affected by multiple forms of abuse.
- Service users share information about the perpetrator(s) with their Advocate Educator. In line with previous years, most perpetrators were current or former partners/spouses (88.6%).
- 77.9% of service users were supported remotely, 13.3% face to face and 305 (7.8%) received both in-person and virtual support.
- 93% of those supported through IRIS report visiting their GP/PN less.