About the training

Domestic Abuse Matters focuses on the issue of domestic abuse and coercive controlling behaviour and is structured with a view to implementing long-term attitudinal and behavioural change in your force.  

The key features of the programme are: 

  • Training local trainers
    Local trainers, who are approved by SafeLives, will attend a SafeLives DA Matters train the trainer course, and once they have passed the quality assurance (QA) process they can deliver training elements to new starters or those who missed the SafeLives delivery phase. They can also deliver DA Matters on behalf of SafeLives to other areas, if they so wish. They receive a consistent programme of support from the SafeLives DA Matters QA lead when delivering DA Matters in force or nationally.
  • Training for 'first responders' 
    This one-day interactive package uses real-life footage, case studies and exercises so that first responders can learn how to identify and gather evidence of coercive controlling behaviour, recognise perpetrator tactics and understand the dynamics of domestic abuse. Attendees will learn how to demonstrate empathy with victims and work with them to increase their safety and that of their children. The training also covers responding to vulnerable people, ‘honour’-based violence, child protection and adult abuse as well as how to deal robustly with perpetrators whilst holding them to account. 
  • Training for Domestic Abuse Matters Champions 
    Champions will be responsible for: checking service delivery, sustaining the change in skills, behaviour and attitudes, giving feedback and congratulating great practice as well as challenging inappropriate language and behaviour. Champions will also identify and act on compassion fatigue, burnout and vicarious trauma and respond to abuse within colleagues’ personal lives. They will gain extra knowledge and skills in areas such as male victims, ‘honour’-based violence and economic abuse, and will become the “go to“ contact within their area of police work.
  • Force health check 
    The health check is a ‘critical friend’ review approach that enables the force to support and maintain the cultural, attitudinal and behavioural change achieved by the training. It is comprised of a 23 point review along with a ‘fresh eyes’ examination of three areas pertinent to domestic abuse chosen locally by the force area. Reality testing can be included where required. 
  • Sustaining the change workshop for senior managers 
    This workshop focuses on how to sustain the change that the programme has created in attitude, culture and practice.  It looks at action progress from the health check and understanding what would make frontline officers’ roles in responding to domestic abuse more rewarding, allowing them to deliver the best service possible.  The workshop helps the senior leadership in a force to develop a plan to safely use internal lived experience of abuse to shape future response to the public.
  • A post programme report 
    This report will be sent to the DA Matters sponsor for the force. It covers findings and recommendations from the training delivery phase and the critical friend health check.  
  • An evaluation product 
    The programme includes a six month follow up evaluation to assess changes in practice and attitudes immediately after the training, and again six months later. See the impact the programme has had on other forces by viewing the four force combined evaluation and a six month follow-up evaluation
  • Ongoing support
    Ongoing support is provided by a secure group on the SafeLives Community online platform. Here, DA Matters SafeLives adopter force leads, trainers and champions can obtain further training opportunities, access national best practice and have the chance to network with each other face to face, twice a year, funded by SafeLives. Safelives have also been awarded Home Office funding to update the programme around economic abuse and will be delivering face to face DA Matters Champions training to SafeLives DA Matters adopter forces, along with an online tool to support learning.  January 2020 will see the launch of Workshops for Cops, a newly developed face to face programme for police specialists and responders. The workshops will be provided exclusively to DA Matters adopter forces and will cover six topics identified by the 18 SafeLives DA Matters adopter forces themselves.