Making a MARAC referral for domestic violence and abuse

Find out how to make a referral if your client is a high risk victim of domestic violence.

MARACs are Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences. They are regular meetings of professionals who discuss how to help individuals who are most at risk of serious harm due to domestic violence and abuse.

Take actions to safeguard your clients and others immediately. Do not wait for the MARAC meeting to take place.

When to make a referral

You should make a MARAC referral if your client:

  • comes out as 'visible high risk' on the DASH risk assessment
  • is at high risk based on your own professional judgement (for example if you do not have enough information for a DASH risk assessment)
  • has reported 3 crimes from a perpetrator in a 12 month period
There is more information about these criteria in the DASH risk assessment.

You should not make a MARAC referral if the only purpose is to:

  • get an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate for your client
  • get evidence to access a housing move or support legal aid
  • signpost your client to other services

If your client does not meet the MARAC referral criteria, you can get support from Leeds Domestic Violence Service or other support agencies.

What to include in your referral

When you complete our online form there will be a question titled:

Outline risk factors, relevant background and reason for referral

Try to keep your answer for this section short and relevant. Include:

  • what your client wants from the MARAC 
  • the length and nature of your client's relationship with the perpetrator, including whether they are still together
  • if they are separated, include how long for, if the perpetrator has accepted this and if there was a particular reason they separated
  • details of the most recent incident – this can be violence or psychological abuse
  • if the perpetrator has threatened your client
  • if the abuse involves controlling and coercive behaviour – include details and how this has affected your client
  • if the abuse is getting more serious or more frequent
  • the number of times police have been called in the past 12 months, include if this is the reason for the referral
  • your client’s housing situation 
  • whether your client is afraid, including what they are afraid of

Incidents reported to the police

If you mention incidents which have been reported to the police in your referral, try to include:

  • the type of offence
  • when it was reported to the police
  • when it happened
  • the perpetrator’s name and number
  • where it happened

You can find more information about assessing the risks victims face on the Safe Lives siteExternal link.

We offer training on making MARAC referrals. To find out more email

Making a referral

To make a referral:

  1. Complete the DASH risk assessment with your client. You should attach this to our online form. There are two versions: for adults (PDF, 373KB) and for young people (PDF, 794KB).
  2. Complete the MARAC online form.

All MARAC referrals are sent to Leeds Domestic Violence Service for consideration to contact the client in advance of the meeting, if it is safe to do so.

Please include when would be safe to contact them and how they would prefer to be contacted. For example, email, text, voicemail, calls from a withheld number and any windows of opportunity when the suspect is not present.

Contact us

Get in touch if you need advice before submitting your referral.

For all queries or requests relating to police referrals or MARAC you can email us:

Police referrals


Use this form to give us your comments. Do not use it to give us personal information - please contact us if you need to get in touch.