IRISi is a social enterprise established in 2017, more precisely on the 23rd of February of that year. Since our first day as an independent organisation, and with a decade’s worth of work as a project behind us, we have been building up our network of partners who share our vision and have the drive to create sustained change.
Our vision is a world in which gender-based violence is consistently recognised and addressed as a health issue.
Our mission is to improve the healthcare response to gender-based violence through health and specialist services working together.
“We started to expand the national IRIS team of three part-time staff in 2015 and, in 2017, established IRISi as a social enterprise. Five of our team have worked as IRIS Advocate Educators and together with the rest of the team, we offer a broad range of experience and backgrounds in the violence against women and girls (VAWG) and support sectors. We are passionate about our work and especially to support more health care professionals to recognise domestic abuse and offer a route to support for more women affected. We promote a feminist ethos and we value equality and diversity in everything we do. We are really excited to see how much we have accomplished as an organisation in only four years with the support of our delivery partners and colleagues in the health service and VAWG sector”, says Medina Johnson, CEO at IRISi.
To celebrate our 4th anniversary, we have selected 4 things you need to know about IRISi.
#01: This is what IRISi does.
IRISi work is based on three pillars:
- We support the local commissioning, implementation and growth of the IRIS programme, including bid development, training for trainers, ongoing support, national analysis and monitoring.
- We collaborate with partners to develop innovative, evidence-based health interventions for those affected by gender-based violence.
- We provide expert advice and consultancy in the field of domestic violence and abuse and health.
#02: IRISi’s flagship programme is IRIS.
IRIS (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) is a general practice based domestic violence and abuse (DVA) training, support, and referral programme. The initiative is based on a collaboration between primary care and third sector organisations specialising in DVA. Core areas of the programme include ongoing training, education and consultancy for the clinical team and administrative staff, care pathways for primary health care practitioners and an enhanced referral pathway to specialist domestic violence services for patients with experience of DVA.
The IRIS programme is an evidence-based, effective and cost-effective intervention to improve the primary care response to DVA and is nationally recognised. IRIS improves the General Practice response to DVA and essentially improves the safety, quality of life and wellbeing of survivors of DVA.
#03: Besides IRIS in general practice, IRISi also works in other health care settings.
IRIS is currently the main programme provided by IRISi. We have ambitions to work with our academic partners to develop and support the commissioning of more evidence-based programmes to improve the health care response to DVA. ADViSE is our next programme:
- IRIS ADViSE | ADViSE (Assessing for Domestic Violence and Abuse in Sexual Health Environments) adapts the IRIS programme for use in sexual health clinics to support sexual health staff to recognise the signs and symptoms of patients affected by DVA, ask them whether they are affected, give a validating response and to then offer and make referrals to specialist services in line with British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASSH) DVA guidance. Coincidently, the initiative will be officially launched on the 24th of March 2021, during a one-hour online webinar. If you want to register, please click here.
#04: IRISi works nationally and has partned on international projects
IRISi works collaboratively with partners to develop innovative, evidence-based health interventions for those affected by gender-based violence. We provide expert advice and consultancy in the field of domestic violence and abuse and health.
We have collaborated 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 fracture clinics and paramedic services. If you would like to discuss any of these areas or have ideas for more, please contact us.
We also work nationally and have partnered on:
- Implement – A European project testing an adapted version of IRIS for emergency departments in six countries.
- Response – A European project testing an adapted version of IRIS for women’s and maternal health services in five countries.
- HERA – An international project using learning from IRIS to inform work on violence against women and girls in low and middle income countries.