How to complain about a Marac

Find out how to raise a Marac complaint if you are a victim or survivor of abuse

Maracs are multi agency meetings where victims of domestic abuse who have been assessed to be at high risk of serious harm or murder are discussed, and coordinated action plans put into place.

There are nine core Marac agencies who we recommend are engaged in the Marac process:

  • Police
  • Idva (Independent Domestic Violence Advocates)
  • Children’s Services
  • Adult Services
  • Housing
  • Probation
  • Substance Misuse Service
  • Primary Health
  • Mental Health Services.

These agencies, and any others engaged in Marac, should be signed up to an Information Sharing Agreement and a Marac Operating Protocol. The agencies come together to share information, identify risk and action plan. Maracs are not a statutory body and SafeLives are unable to deal directly with complaints against individual Maracs. However, we are keen to hear when things go wrong to help us inform the bigger picture and learn from what is happening on the ground.

Complaining about the Marac as a whole

Most Maracs sit under a governing body, sometimes called a Steering Group or Governance Group. If you feel you have a complaint against the Marac as a collective, then you should address your complaint to the chair of the governing body.

The easiest way to find out who this is, is by contacting the Idva who supported you when you were referred to Marac.

If you are unable to contact the Idva service you should call the Local Authority and ask for the Domestic Abuse Coordinator, sometimes called the Violence Against Women & Girls Coordinator.

Once you have the chair’s contact details you should put your complaint in writing to them.

Complaining about an individual agency

As mentioned, the Marac is made up of lots of different agencies. If you have a complaint about one of those agencies you could start by having an informal talk to the manager of the individual service. If that doesn’t resolve your complaint, and you’d like to make a formal complaint, you should direct that complaint to their individual complaints procedure, complaints authority or regulator.

  • Police – please direct your complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct
  • Idva – please direct your complaint, in the first instance to the Service Manager. If your issue is not resolved you could escalate your complaint to the chair of the Board of Trustees.
  • Children’s Services – as a statutory service, please refer to the Local Authority’s complaints procedure
  • Adult Services – as a statutory service, please refer to the Local Authority’s complaints procedure
  • Housing – as a statutory service, please refer to the Local Authority’s complaints procedure
  • Probation – please direct your complaint to His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service
  • Substance Misuse – each service should have their own complaints procedure, please either request the procedure or direct your complaint to the Service Manager
  • Primary Health – please direct your complaint to the NHS.  Alternatively, you could write to the following regulatory bodies, depending on the individual’s profession:

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletters about the latest training, events, research and fundraising initiatives at SafeLives. Together, we can end domestic abuse, for everyone, for good.

Sign up