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Blueprint for Safety

Building an Inter-Agency Response to Domestic Abuse Crimes


The Istanbul Convention identifies the importance of monitoring and closing systemic gaps in the investigation and prosecution of DSGBV crimes. The Third National Strategy Implementation Plan also highlights the need to identify, monitor and close data gaps with a view to informing practice, policy, and legislation.  In Ireland there is currently no mechanisms in place to implement and audit the justice system’s multi-agency response to domestic abuse and coercive control crimes.

Haven Horizons has developed a collaborative partnership with Praxis International (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) to promote two interlinked models of best practice which reduce the incidences of DSGBV, prevent re-victimisation, serious injury and homicide. These are next generation multi-agency systemic responses to domestic violence crimes that can be used by any community that wants to link its agencies together in a coherent, effective domestic violence intervention model.  

First, the Safety and Accountability audit identifies the gaps in each agency’s response to DSGBV. The Safety and Accountability Audit is a self-assessment tool that allows key workers in an agency to identify the gaps in their response, recommend changes, and to implement, monitor and evaluate the changes over time.  

Secondly, the Blueprint for Safety Model uses the findings of the Safety and Accountability audits from each agency to close the gaps in interagency responses to DSGBV. The Blueprint for Safety Model puts a laser focus on victim safety and perpetrator accountability at every single step in the interagency response to investigation, processing, and prosecution of domestic violence crimes. 

Video – Blueprint for Safety Overview

In 2017, Haven Horizons in conjunction with the GNPSB brought a team of experts from St. Paul, Minnesota to present the model to national representatives from DSGBV agencies, the justice system and Tusla – view below.


What distinguishes this project and makes it innovative is that the Blueprint for Safety Demonstration Division focuses on systematically enhancing co-operation, building the capacities of all agencies working in this space to increase their individual and collective impact in preventing, prosecuting and eradicating domestic abuse, by initiating, applying and installing an evidence-based best practice model of systemic collaboration.

The agencies solve the problems together ensuring that they:

  • Investigate and document the scope, severity, risk and pattern of abuse and can communicate it from agency to agency in the CJS and in all court proceeding including applications for barring, safety orders and bail hearings.
  • All agencies co-operate to build an evidence-based case that reduces the onus on the victim in court
  • The CJS holds perpetrators accountable for domestic violence, breaking orders and any attempt to intimidate the victim
  • That victims are fully supported and informed at all stages of the process
Sean O’Rourke Show RTE

Mary FitzGerald, Madeline Mc Aleer and Axel Henry were recently interviewed on the Sean O’Rourke show about the awards Mary has won and the Blueprint for Safety proposal. Listen below

Blueprint for Safety Overview March 2014

Other Useful Links

JOURNAL.IE – Press Release 2017

Video – Blueprint Launch St. Paul