IRISi is a social enterprise established in 2017 to promote and improve the healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse (DVA).
We are building a 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.
Our flagship intervention is IRIS. Medina Johnson, our CEO explains more.
IRISi feels a bit like a growing family! A seed was planted in 2007 and we matured into IRISi in 2017.
Two of our team, myself and Annie Howell, were the original two Advocate Educators (AEs) during the IRIS randomised, controlled trial and one of our board members, Gene Feder, had the original idea for IRIS. In 2007, together with a clinical psychologist, Roxane, we wrote and developed the IRIS programme which, together with the research teams at Bristol University and QMUL, London, we tested in the trial and which remains largely unchanged today.
Myself and Annie, with support from Gene, Roxane and their host agencies (Next Link and nia), developed the IRIS programme from the trial, wrote and produced commissioning guidance and the IRIS train the trainer package. We spent the next seven years, working variously from trains, cafes, kitchen tables and other people’s offices supporting sites to commission, develop and sustain IRIS programmes.
We started to expand the national IRIS team 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 VAWG and support sectors. You can read more about our excellent team here. We are passionate and devoted to our cause. We promote a feminist ethos and we value equality and diversity in everything we do.
Our original funders, The Health Foundation, remain partners and we retain close and collaborative links with The Centre for Academic Primary Care at The University of Bristol. Most of the relationships we have built on our journey from the IRIS trial to date continue to strengthen and we enjoy developing new ones. We are delighted to have a network of colleagues from across and within the health, research and DVA sectors.
We are proud to work with amazing women who have been supported via their local IRIS programme and now work with us to share their stories to encourage and support others.
We look forward to increasing the scope of our work and reach as our IRISi family grows and matures.
"Thanks so much, I saw her shortly after and she felt so supported and understood. Really moving. One of those special moments in general practice when you feel that there is proper support out there for those most needing it. Fab"IRIS GP
Improving the healthcare response to Domestic Abuse: IRIS expansion to reach men, children and young people proves feasible and potentially cost-effective, according to findings by University of Bristol researchers.Read more
Welcome to the 17th edition of “IRISi News”, where we look back on the exciting developments that unfolded from September to December 2023!Read more
In this month’s eFeature, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) spotlighted the ADViSE Programme in an article authored by Charlotte Chappell, ADViSE Lead. The piece, available here, explores the correlation between domestic...Read more
AVA is an expert, groundbreaking and independent charity working across the UK.
Their vision is a world without gender based violence and abuse. They aim to inspire innovation and collaboration and encourage and enable direct service providers to help end gender based violence and abuse particularly against women and girls.AVA’s work is focused around those areas where they can make the best contribution to ending violence and abuse. They do this by making sure that survivors get the help and support they need in the here and now, through providing innovative training that has a proven direct impact on the professional practice of people supporting survivors of violence and abuse
developing a range of toolkits, e-learning and other material that supports professionals to provide effective and appropriate support to survivors of violence and abuse
using our influence and networks to ensure survivors voices are heard. We work closely with AVA in many areas including the Pathfinder project
SafeLives are a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for good. We combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. Since 2005, SafeLives has worked with organisations across the country to transform the response to domestic abuse, with over 60,000 victims at highest risk of murder or serious harm now receiving co-ordinated support annually. SafeLives are members of the Pathfinder consortium.
Imkaan is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation. We are the only national second-tier women’s organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls i.e. women and girls which are defined in policy terms as Black and ‘Minority Ethnic’ (BME). The organisation holds nearly two decades of experience of working around issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour-based’ violence.
They work at local, national and international level, and in partnership with a range of organisations, to improve policy and practice responses to Black and minoritised women and girls. Imkaan works with it’s members to represent the expertise and perspectives of frontline, specialist and dedicated Black and minoritised women’s organisations that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. Imkaan delivers a unique package of support which includes: quality assurance; accredited training and peer education; sustainability support to frontline Black and minoritised organisations; and facilitation of space for community engagement and development. They are a part of the Pathfinder Consortium.
The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It is part of Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.
The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The Health Foundation’s Exploring Social Franchising programme aims to generate a deeper understanding of the potential of social franchising models for scaling effective health and social care interventions within the NHS.
We are one of four project teams participating in the programme to develop a social franchise to enable the sustainable spread of our intervention, the IRIS Programme. We receive funding and support from the Health Foundation, including technical expertise on social franchising, and attend programme learning events. The Health Foundation has also commissioned a programme-wide evaluation to support understanding of the use of social franchising in the UK health and care system. We and our franchisees will support the evaluation through co-designing data collection requirements, providing access to data as requested, hosting site visits and attending learning events.
Standing Together Against Domestic Violence is a UK charity bringing communities together to end domestic abuse. They bring local services together to keep people safe
Most public services weren’t designed with domestic abuse in mind, and they often struggle to keep people safe. Poor communication and gaps between services put survivors at risk.
STADV aim to end domestic abuse by changing the way that local services respond to it. They do this through an approach that they pioneered, called the Coordinated Community Response. The Coordinated Community Response brings services together to ensure local systems truly keep survivors safe, hold abusers to account, and prevent domestic abuse.
Their model of a coordinated local partnership to tackle and ultimately prevent domestic violence is now widely accepted as best practice. They are also a part of the Pathfinder consortium.
Spring Impact is a not-for-profit social enterprise born out of the frustration of seeing social organisations constantly reinventing the wheel and wasting scarce resources. Spring Impact uses a combination of tested commercial and social principles and extensive practical expertise to support organisations to identify, design and implement the right social replication model to scale their social impact.