Understanding domestic abuse & sexual violence

CPD accredited online courses and bookable training events

Online courses

CPD accredited online training for professionals working with domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Sexual Violence essential training

Sexual Violence Essential Training

This course explores sexual violence and its impacts on survivors. This course includes helpful video elements and regular knowledge checks. All videos have British Sign Language translations with thanks to SignHealth.

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Woman completing the Domestic Abuse Awareness Online Course on her office computer

Domestic Abuse Basic Awareness Training

This beginners training course is aimed at individuals in organisations and voluntary groups who work with adults and children or young people, to give a basic awareness of issues surrounding domestic abuse.

Training events

We offer an innovative training programme for professionals; informed by 40 years’ experience supporting survivors of domestic abuse. We are proud to deliver practice informed, specialist and expert training nationwide via e-learning and online courses. Please see below for our range of training programmes on offer.

National multi-agency training

Our training programmes are suitable for professionals and organisations across the UK. Our team of expert trainers have created innovative and interactive training courses to upskill professionals when working with anyone affected by domestic abuse.

Northern Training Consortium

NTC is a collaborative training enterprise by northern women’s sector organisations IDAS, My Sister’s Place, The Pankhurst Trust, Wearside Women in Need, Leeds Women’s Aid, and Halo Project offering a range of free, trauma-informed training for ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advisers) in the north of England.

Training in partnership with Sheffield City Council

We run a programme of domestic abuse training events throughout the year in collaboration with Sheffield City Council. These events are free and available to professionals working in Sheffield.

Training in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council

Our rolling programme of training events in collaboration with North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council is free and available to professionals working in North Yorkshire and the City of York.

Webinars, bitesize workshops, and briefings

As leading experts in our field, we provide tailored webinars, bitesize workshops, and briefings to suit a range of audiences, covering a wide range of topics. This could include update briefings on recent changes to legislation, a deep dive into a particular type of abuse or topic area or an overview of research into a specific subject area.  One hour time slots are available, contact us to book an input from our team. training@idas.org.uk

Bespoke Training offer

We can offer bespoke training to suit your needs and budget including online and in person courses.

If you would like to make a request for bespoke training or would like more information, please contact us on training@idas.org.uk

About IDAS

IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Our services include refuge accommodation, community based support, peer mentoring, group work, training and access to a free, confidential out of hours helpline.

Accreditations and partners


Calling women ‘hysterical’ if they appear distressed, upset or disturbed often discounts their experiences. Other labels used can include, but are not limited to, “unstable” or “over-reacting”, “unable to keep their emotions in check”.  These statements are routed in sexism.

Another thing to note is that the description of being hysterical is provided by the alleged abuser. Often abusers will try to manipulate professionals in a bid to sabotage the victims’ credibility and to minimise or detract from the abuse.

Language is extremely important in documentation as the documentation will provide a narrative of what is happening and will often determine what course of action will be needed next.

Documentation may be called for as evidence in both civil and criminal cases, including family court for protective orders or child contact arrangements.

‘Male appeared calm and assisted with enquiries’
We cannot assume that because one party displays anger and aggression or is less in control of their emotions that they are a primary perpetrator. It is a myth that perpetrators “lose control” or have anger management issues when they abuse their partners. Domestic violence is the most often, the opposite of losing control; perpetrators know what they are doing and use their abusive tactics of choice to maintain dominance in the relationship.
Verbal argument only
It is important to remember that many couples argue, but for an argument to escalate to the point that the neighbours fear for a person’s safety that they phone the police on the emergency number, this should warrant further in-depth investigation. Statements such as “verbal argument only” will minimise harm and fear caused by verbal abuse. In turn it will also minimise the victims experience of the incident. The danger of using language that may minimise an abusive incident is that it will send a message to victims that the act was not abusive and if the victim felt it was abusive then they are over-reacting. Over time, this can lead to an escalation of abuse if the warning signs are not spotted, or intervention is not offered at the earliest opportunity. Furthermore, the statement ‘Verbal Argument Only’ suggests that only physical violence is worthy of investigation. However, the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 defines domestic abuse as:  Behaviour is “abusive” if it consists of any of the following—
  • (a)physical or sexual abuse;
  • (b)violent or threatening behaviour;
  • (c)controlling or coercive behaviour;
  • (d)economic abuse (see subsection (4));
  • (e)psychological, emotional or other abuse;
The act makes it clear that verbal abuse is part of domestic abuse.