Domestic abuse training for 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 six men will experience domestic abuse, meaning virtually every employer employs people who are affected. 

Everyone at work knew. They must have done. I arrived late, left early, and was constantly checking my phone. He came to my office a few times and demanded to see me. It was so embarrassing, I’d say anything to make him leave. 

– Sophie*, survivor of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is everybody’s business, and this includes employers. Two million people in the UK experience domestic abuse every year – and yet we think it is something that happens to ‘other people’. Domestic abuse is something that will impact almost every workplace. And yet so few employers have adequate policies or training about domestic abuse.

Employers are well placed to spot the signs 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. This is not just about a well-intended policy, but real culture change. Campaigns such as Time to Change have had incredible impact in raising awareness of mental health and allowing people the time and space to talk about it. We need to see the same with domestic abuse. Conversations may be uncomfortable, but they can also be life changing.

Public and private sector organisations must recognise that domestic abuse will impact their workforce and taking positive action to support those who may be suffering in silence. Businesses from every sector need to take responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of their staff. This requires training, resources and leadership.

How can SafeLives help you?

We've supported organisations of all different sizes and from different sectors to improve their response to domestic abuse. Some of the practical help we've given to employers includes:

Make an enquiry

To find out more about how we can help, or enquire about a bespoke package for your workplace, contact Freya Potter, Lead Trainer: Trainingcommissions@safelives.org.uk

14 & 21 September DA Awareness & Responding Well to Disclosures in the Workplace Open Course 


Both sessions are 09.30 - 13.00. The training is held on Zoom and will run over 2 days.

Applications will be reviewed w/c 20 June, please hold the dates in your diary until then. Applications are capped at 4 per organisation


This online workshop is 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. All sessions will be supported by a resource pack containing the session slides and a further reading list which will be made available to delegates post-training.


In this session you will learn:

  • Definitions and types of abuse - We will discuss the definitions and terminology around DA and explore the different forms that abuse may take, providing examples of a diverse range of experiences of DA.
  • Prevalence and dynamics - We’ll look at the numbers of people affected by DA and examine the dynamics of DA, with a focus on coercion and control.
  • The impact of DA - We’ll look at how DA affects survivors and the complex reasons that survivors are not able to ‘just leave’. We will also explore the impact of DA on employers and the unique role employers can play in reaching in to survivors who often don’t see a path to support.
  • Looking after yourself - An opportunity to explore the impact these conversations have on us and how we can take care of our own wellbeing when we are supporting others
  • Identifying DA - We will look at signs and indicators of abuse.
  • The role of workplace support - We will talk to the group about their hopes and fears when supporting colleagues, what they can and can’t do and how to set boundaries.
  • Talking about DA and responding well - We will think about how we talk to people about DA, the impact of language, how to start a conversation and respond well to a disclosure.
  • Safety Planning - We will cover safety planning advice and best practice, including considering separation as a time of increased risk, economic abuse, and digital and online safety.
  • Care Pathways - We will look at how HR, managers and champions can support, signpost and safeguard effectively.
  • Impacts of trauma and the importance of self-care - A look at the different ways in which trauma can affect us and a reminder of how we can look after ourselves when we are supporting others

The cost for this session is £150 per person. If you work for a registered charity with up to £2 million turnover or an organisation with up to 50 employees you are entitled to a subsidied rate of £90 per person. The discount will be applied once you have registered.