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IRIS Project

IRIS stands for Indentification and Referral to Improve Safety and it's general practice based domestic violence and abuse programme.

IRIS is a collaboration between primary care and third sector organisations which specialise in domestic abuse - in this case the Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre.

The Royal College of General Practitioners designated domestic violence and abuse as one of its four key priority areas in 2011.  This was to recognise its clinical importance as well as the impact on public health. The IRIS Programme is endorsed by them.

How does domestic violence affect women's health?

Domestic violence impacts on women's health: 

Physical Health

  • 2 women are killed every week in England/Wales by partners (or ex-partners)
  • 69% of incidents of domestic violence result in injury and 13% in broken bones, compared with 4% f muggings resulting in injuries DVA can be at the route of long lasting illnesses e.g. headaches, stomach problems, gynaecological problems, heart disease.

Psychological Health

  • depression after being insulted, put down
  • anxiety after living afraid and in danger
  • PTSD
  • using drink or drugs
  • suicide attempts


The IRIS Project


In partnership with practice teams we:

  • support practice staff to understand how domestic violence affects health 
  • provide information and support for patients experiencing domestic violence
  • provide information and support for professionals when dealing with domestic violence
  • building practitioners' confidence to ask women about domestic violence
  • discuss what to do when a woman talks about domestic violence - what to say, referring to the advocate and safety of staff and patients
  • introduce the role of the domestic violence advocate and local services
  • improve practice at local and national level