Someone experiencing abuse may talk to you and this might be in confidence. Talking in confidence can be very important and you can encourage someone to seek support from a professional organisation like the police or Torbay Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS). It is advisable though to be very honest with someone from the start of any conversations that if you believe they (or their children) are at risk of serious harm that you will have to share your concerns with other professionals and the proper authorities and you will do this to help keep them safe. People can feel very angry or upset if they feel someone has broken their trust so explaining this at the very beginning of any conversations can help prevent that.

If you are concerned that someone is at risk of harm, especially if children or young people are involved you will need to follow your own organisation’s policy and procedures. That might include informing a line manager and submitting a report about the situation. You might also have specific safeguarding processes to follow. If you’re unsure what to do, always ask your line manager. If you are concerned about the immediate safety of someone always contact the police on emergency telephone 999. If children or young people are involved you can also contact Torbay Safeguarding Hub. 

Victims can refer themselves into services, but sometimes might need support to do that. Depending on who you work for and what you do, it may be appropriate for you to make a referral for someone. 

More information on services for children and young people, including the interactive threshold tool, can be found on the Torbay Safeguarding Children Board website. 

Domestic abuse

To make a referral into Torbay Domestic Abuse Service contact them via the Directory.

If you’re working with a young person you can make a referral into the Young Person’s Violence Advisor.

If you’re a professional working in the health or education services, or local government you can make a victim referral into Torbay’s Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). The MARAC is a group of professionals from a range of agencies who plan what action should be taken to protect a victim. Your organisation will have a process of how to do that and it may include involving your designated Safeguarding Lead.

Sexual violence

If you're working with someone who is, or has experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives there is support available.

Make a referral to Devon Rape Crisis Service. The service provides support for women over 18 who are currently experiencing or have experienced at any time, sexual abuse or harassment.

Make a referral to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) The services provided by the SARC are offered to men, women and children of any age.

If you’re working with a young person you can make a referral into the Young Person’s Violence Advisor.

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