Remember you are not alone - domestic abuse can happen to anyone no matter your age, race, class, culture, disability, gender, sexuality or lifestyle.

Alongside the team of workers based at Manchester Women’s Aid, there are a wealth of health professionals that can help domestic abuse survivors. GPs, midwives and dentists work in conjunction with Manchester Women’s Aid to help identify signs of domestic violence and abuse to help the affected get the help they need. 

Our work with health professionals breaks down into two areas; IRIS and MiDASS. We’re also working in conjunction with other health professionals to help broaden our reach.  

Get help from your doctor

Identification and referral to improve safety (IRIS)

IRIS is an evidence-based primary care training, support and referral service which aims to improve identification of patients experiencing domestic violence and abuse and their referral for specialist support.

IRIS is a training programme run for GP surgeries and their staff to help identify domestic violence and abuse. Doctors, nurses and surgery staff are given awareness training to help spot the signs of someone suffering from domestic violence and abuse and are made aware of our referral scheme. Each referred patient will be allocated a specialist domestic abuse worker, the IRIS AE (Advocate Educator), who will see the patient in the GP surgery wherever possible, further enhancing confidentiality. By working alongside doctors and their staff, we're able to have a greater reach with our work.

Often, a relationship of trust is built up between a patient and their GP over a number of years and it is easier for a survivor to confide in them. Equally, a doctor's surgery may be one of the only spaces someone suffering from domestic violence and abuse will be alone and away from their abuser. By using safe spaces like GP surgeries, we're able to reach out to more women and affect real change. Talk to your GP today about being referred.

How GP surgeries work in conjunction with Manchester Women's Aid:

  • Full training for GP surgery staff to help spot signs of domestic violence and abuse
  • Simple referral pathway so patients can get the help they need quickly

Manchester’s Domestic Abuse Aware GP Practices

In North, Central and South Manchester 88 GP practices have been IRIS trained and have a specialist domestic abuse worker, the IRIS AE, linked to their practice.

The staff in your IRIS GP practice are trained to ask about domestic abuse and specialist workers are available to support you. You can talk to the doctors, nurses or other staff if you are being hurt or controlled by your current or ex-partner, are afraid of someone at home or a member of your family.

The IRIS service is for all GP patients and staff, both women and men, aged 16 or over, whatever age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or background.  IRIS’s oldest patient so far is over 80.


Social isolation can increase stress at home, impacting on you and your family’s well-being. Your GP practice is here to help you.

Please contact your GP or Practice Nurse for help and advice.  They will refer you to the practice’s IRIS worker, the ‘IRIS Advocate Educator’.

IRIS are offering a telephone support service for patients during COVID-19 restrictions. Talk to your GP today about being referred.


Get help from your midwife (MiDASS)

One of the times a woman is most at risk from domestic violence and abuse is when she is pregnant. Our MiDASS service works closely with midwives to help identify potential signs of domestic violence and abuse and give midwives the power to refer patients to get the help they need.

How your midwife can help you:

  • Asking the right questions to assess if you are at risk from domestic violence and abuse
  • Providing reassurance that help is at hand and available
  • By giving immediate assistance and support, without the need for a formal referral

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