First Light has qualified and specialist advisers who provide a free and confidential service to victims / survivors who are at a high risk of harm from their intimate partners, ex-partners or family members – with the priority of increasing safety for these people and their children. These are called Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs).
We act as an individual’s primary point of contact and we work with people from the point of crisis where we are able to assess the level of risk, develop safety procedures and discuss a wide range of suitable options. The support that we offer is designed to be a short to medium term service to reduce the risk of further domestic abuse and the effects it may cause. In working with a victim / survivor, an Individual Safety and Support Plan will be developed to increase their safety.
Our advisors are independent of and separate from all other local statutory agencies which ensure that the best possible advice and access to services is provided for our clients. We do however work closely with a range of agencies including the Police, Criminal Justice System, housing and children and adult services which results in improved assessments, monitoring and managing the risks towards victims / survivors. A First Light advisor will act as an advocate to advise and assist an individual to explore legal and civil options to increase protection, as well as providing guidance and support through the Criminal Justice System and with other strategic agencies that can help.
Our advisors represent clients at Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) of which there are 6 operating across Cornwall. These conferences discuss the risk, safety and support needs of the individual and any dependents that are experiencing high risk domestic violence and abuse. At this meeting a multi-agency supportive action plan is formulated to help protect and maximise the safety of the clients discussed.
All clients are treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity and all cases are dealt with the utmost confidentiality. First Light advisors are non-judgemental, non- directive and take a holistic approach. They aim to protect, encourage and empower victims / survivors and ensure the needs and views of the client are heard by strategic agencies and within the criminal justice system. They help clients free themselves from abusive relationships, safeguard their needs and assist them to lead independent lives which are free from abuse.