Engaging with those who harm

Data suggests victims still living with the perpetrator will experience abuse for six years before they get effective help – that’s double the time that it takes for those who are not living with the perpetrator. Too often we ask, ‘why don’t you leave?’ when the reality is much more complicated and there may be reasons why someone remains in an abusive relationship.

It’s vital that domestic abuse professionals address the safety of victims, ensure children are appropriately supported and increase accountability and responsibility of perpetrators, so more families can become safer sooner.


Applications for our Spring 2023 course have now closed

Click here to register your interest in future courses

About the course

This course helps build confidence and skill in responding directly to the perpetrator, extending existing professional competencies in holding them to account, assessing their readiness to engage in in-depth specialist behaviour change work, and effectively use referral pathways to those interventions.

The course comprises 4 days virtual training, delivered in 2 blocks; and the completion of an assessed worksheet that is submitted online. The course takes place on Zoom


What does this course cover?

This training course:

  • Provides professionals with an empirically supported structure for tackling issues such as denial, disengagement, and disguised compliance.  
  • Addresses the challenges of an organisational culture that can develop around domestic abuse cases which focuses on separate and isolate as a long-term strategy to manage risk, rather than an immediate safeguarding action or a last resort.  
  • Encourages learners to consider the goals of building rapport and engagement to support managing risk and achieving long-term safety and stability. 
  • Provides a proactive framework for agencies and professionals to confidently, professionally and safely establish direct working relationships with DA perpetrators without compromising robust safeguarding and support for victims and children.  



  • Applicants must have a current active caseload of perpetrators in the community. This is to ensure that you have a varied range of case examples for your worksheets.
  • Applicants must have a line manager or equivalent within an appropriate organisation, who can vouch for you for the entire time you are on the course and completing the worksheets. 

To promote diversity and widen our learners’ network, we limit the number of successful applicants from the same organisation. A maximum of 2 learners from a single organisation will be admitted to one course. Please consider this before you apply to avoid any disappointment.


We welcome learners of all backgrounds and abilities. We encourage you to share with us any details on accessibility and diversity needs so we can ensure the right support is in place. You can also contact us if you have any queries training@safelives.org.uk



Feedback from previous learners

The focus on practising our MI [motivational interviewing] skills, making sure everyone felt safe, the openness of the trainers to take our comments and feedback - they always made sure there was time for discussion and never cut people off. The importance of the different types of reflective listening and rapport building which is useful for any situation, whoever you are working with.

Exceptional training with lots of experience in the room and expertise of the trainers - lots of understanding gained about the long term effects of DA on children and how this is long term and can negatively impact on perpetrators so that abuse is ongoing and can scan several generations

The course will support my safety planning as IDVA especially to those who wish to remain in a relationship and to discuss options for support available to the abusive partner. Also to inform agencies of the work and support available


The origin of Engaging with those who harm

Our Engaging with those who harm training is based on Engage, an organisational framework and set of practical resources for working with individuals perpetrating domestic abuse.  

Engage is a behaviour management model developed by Emily Alison (behavioural psychologist) and piloted, delivered and evaluated by Cheshire Without Abuse and SafeLives’ ‘Beacon’ sites.

This training has been piloted in multiple settings and contexts across the UK. Pilot results of the model indicate substantial cost savings in terms of reduced incidents of domestic abuse (83%- 84% reduction in police call-outs), improved child protection outcomes, and reports from partners that they feel safer and more supported. Participants on previous Engage training reported increased confidence in working with complex patterns of domestic abuse; decision-making and working directly with perpetrators.


Get in touch

If you have any questions about this training, eligibility or the pricing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: Hayley Tate, Lead Trainer and Assessor: Hayley.Tate@safelives.org.uk