Two women talking, one woman has a laptop in front of her.

Training for employers

Domestic abuse in the workplace

Employers are well placed to spot the signs of domestic abuse in colleagues: anxiety, decreased motivation, seeming distracted, being late, being on the phone to a partner or family member very often – and yet so often no one knows what to say or do. This must change.

How can SafeLives help you?

SafeLives’ Training and Development team are domestic abuse experts, with backgrounds in practice. National and local data from the SafeLives research and evaluation team informs all our activities. We have a diverse group of associate trainers and expert guest speakers who work with us to provide bespoke training packages that are relevant, practical, interactive and engaging.

To find out more about how we can help, or to enquire about a bespoke package for your workplace get in touch today

Contact the training team

Brilliant, inclusive training - good mixture of interactive break out rooms, video and slides. Great we had frequent breaks - I've done many all-day sessions and really struggled due to lack of breaks.

Anonymous learner from Publicis Groupe UK

Building a framework for the best response to domestic abuse 

The first step for employers is to create or strengthen their domestic abuse policy. Our team can:

  • Review your existing or draft domestic abuse policy
  • Support you to adapt and develop our model policy and guidance for your workplace
  • Help you consider your responses to both victims and those using abusive behaviours
  • Advise on and contribute to additional resources for your staff such as advice and guidance for HR and managers
  • Help you identify local and/or national specialist support services to signpost employees to, including those who have diverse needs.

Awareness raising, training and development 

Our trainers are experts in developing and delivering training tailored to the needs of your workplace. We can upskill your staff, answering questions like:

  • What is domestic abuse and how might it affect my employees?
  • How will I know if my employees are experiencing or perpetrating domestic abuse?
  • What is my responsibility as an employer and how can I support my staff?
  • We are a large employer and employ both a victim of abuse and their perpetrator – how do we manage that?

“Really informative and sensitively-delivered course full of useful signposts and talking points. Can see from the enthusiasm that people had for joining in and asking questions that it was well received by all.”

Anonymous learner from NHS Blood and Transplant

Our workplace training package could include, but is not limited to, the following: 

  • Domestic abuse awareness for HR and managers 
  • Effective responses to disclosures of domestic abuse for HR and managers 
  • Awareness and response training for peer support networks such as DA Champions or Mental Health First Aiders 
  • Domestic abuse awareness webinar for all staff

“There were a variety of different training options available to suit our needs. I got very quick responses to my inquiries which made booking the event easy. The presentation itself was very informative and well delivered. Very helpful and friendly staff.”

Women’s Network Co-chair, NHS Blood & Transplant

Why is domestic abuse training for your business important? 

Domestic abuse is everybody’s business, and this includes employers. We know that as an employer, you want to do everything you can to keep your staff healthy, happy, and productive. Sadly, we also know that one in four women and one in seven men have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. 

International research commissioned by Vodafone in 2019 found that one in five (21%) survey respondents from the UK felt they had been less productive at work as a result of experiencing domestic abuse.  

We also know one impact of Covid-19 has been an increase in the incidences of domestic abuse because safe spaces and escape routes may no longer have been available to victims and survivors, with them feeling increasingly isolated from their support network.  

The above means virtually every employer will have staff who are affected, and yet so few employers have adequate policies or training about domestic abuse. 

Public and private sector organisations must recognise that domestic abuse will impact their workforce and take positive action to support those who may be suffering in silence. The workplace is often the last place a victim will say they felt like themselves or say that it was a place they felt safe. 

Employers are in a unique position to offer vital resources and support to victims. Businesses from every sector need to take responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of their staff. This requires training, resources, and leadership.  

Sign up to an open course

Our online workshops are targeted at people such as HR staff, managers, Mental Health First Aiders, or representatives from employee network groups. The sessions will increase awareness and understanding of domestic abuse, and enable delegates to feel confident in talking about DA and signposting colleagues to specialist support. 

 Learn more about our open training courses 

Resources for employers

Every workplace will include members of staff who are affected by domestic abuse. Here you can find resources and training to help you support your staff.

The difference a truly supportive employer can make

In the last six months my dad has died and my mum has had a stroke. I don’t write about it here for sympathy or to expose family grief, but instead to explore what I’ve needed from my employer during what is still one of the most difficult periods of my life to date.

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