Practitioner survey

Research with Idvas, outreach workers, Ypvas and frontline services in England and Wales

Idvas and domestic abuse practitioners support victims, survivors and children to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. We are determined to champion that work and the need for all professionals to be properly supported and funded.

From 2017 – 2021, at the request of the Home Office, we collected the number of domestic abuse professionals in England and Wales and their experiences and challenges.

The latest survey (2020-21) was completed during the Covid-19 pandemic and the findings reveal the worrying extent of the pressure national lockdowns and social distancing measures created for domestic abuse services, staff and survivors of abuse.

    Key Findings from the 2020-21 survey

  • 88%

    said there had been an increase in demand since Covid-19

  • 41%

    of practitioners said they were unable to keep up with demand

  • 41%

    gave their biggest concern as staff capacity, staff recruitment and funding

Service users have been unable to access support and they no longer focus on their own needs. Service users have increased levels of anxiety and are experiencing more isolation, unable to be with support networks and family.

Practitioner response

Idva provision

Idva provision has fallen for the first time in five years.

There is only 66% of the minimum required number of FTE Idvas in England and Wales to meet the needs of victims and the highest risk of serious harm or murder. This level has fallen for the first time since 2016.  Only three police force areas have the minimum requited number of Idvas, while 14% have less than 50%. Just one in ten services had an Idva who was based in a health setting, and only one in twenty had an Idva providing specialised court support.

You should be able to access life-saving Idva support if you need it, wherever you live.

Click the map for more detail on each police force area.

Further research and information

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SafeLives Insights service

Insights enables domestic abuse services to understand their clients’ needs using reliable evidence, ensuring services provide the right resources to victims, survivors and their families.

Insights data

Datasets from our Insights system on Idva services, outreach services, children accessing domestic abuse services and sexual violence services.
Two people sat on a table with graphs in front of them.

Practitioner datasets

Access our latest national datasets for services supporting domestic abuse victims across the UK.

Marac data

We collect data from all Maracs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and most Maracs in Scotland. See the latest and past figures from the national dataset.