• The University of Sheffield

Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence

Learn to recognise the signs of domestic violence and support domestic violence survivors as a health or social care worker.

23,003 enrolled on this course

A woman stands in darkness at an open door

Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence

23,003 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Enhance your knowledge of gender-based violence and the forms of domestic abuse

Domestic violence is a global health issue that can take many forms and affect anyone.

Health and social care professionals play an important role in recognising and helping victims of violent and abusive relationships.

On this course, you’ll address the role of gender in domestic violence and learn to recognise the various forms of violence and abuse.

You’ll reflect on the impact of domestic violence and understand your responsibilities as a health or social care worker.

By the end of this course, you’ll feel more confident to help support domestic violence victims and survivors.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Domestic violence is a major social and public health problem. One in three women worldwide will be subjected to physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. In most cases the perpetrator is someone known to the woman, an intimate partner, ex-partner, husband, boyfriend or a family member.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds The damaging effects of domestic violence often lead victims to health and social care services, giving health and social care professionals an important role in recognising and helping victims of abusive relationships.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds In this online course, we’ll show you how to develop your skills as a professional to provide help and support to those who may be experiencing domestic abuse. We’ll help you understand why domestic violence is a gendered issue, how to spot the signs of an abusive relationship, and how your support can include a larger network of doctors, nurses, police officers, solicitors, councils and charities.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds Complete this course from The University of Sheffield and help improve the lived realities for women living with domestic violence and abuse the world over.


  • Week 1

    Gender and Gender-Based Violence

    • Would you walk home alone at night?

      We start the course with a simple question; would you feel confident walking home by yourself late at night?

    • What is gender?

      In this activity, we’ll explore the concept of gender and find out how it influences our behaviour and the way we treat others.

    • Forms of domestic violence and abuse

      Domestic violence and abuse is a form of gender-based violence. In this activity, we'll discuss why DVA is a gendered issue and discuss the many different forms that it can take.

    • Why doesn't she leave?

      Over the next three weeks, we want to help you understand why someone would struggle to leave an abusive relationship so that you can confidently answer the question - why doesn’t she leave?

  • Week 2

    Recognising Domestic Violence and Abuse

    • How prevalent is domestic violence and abuse?

      DVA exists in many different forms and affects people in every society, country, culture and religion. In this first activity, we’ll explore the prevalence of DVA around the world.

    • The impact of domestic violence and abuse

      In this activity, we'll find out why some groups are at risk of experiencing abuse and learn about the serious effects it has on the victim, their family and their children.

    • Recognising the signs

      There are a whole range of signs and symptoms that can alert you to a person experiencing DVA. Some are explicit and some could be very subtle. In this activity, we'll explore how to recognise victims of DVA.

    • Why doesn't she leave?

      As we approach the end of the week, we'll return to Sarah's story. What is the impact of her experiences for herself and her children? Why do you think that Sarah is unable to leave this relationship?

  • Week 3

    Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence

    • Talking to victims

      Even if you suspect abuse might be occurring, it can still be difficult to bring up it up. In this activity, we'll explore how to start a conversation about DVA.

    • Practical advice

      In this activity, we'll look at some of the more practical aspects of providing support, including how to gather and record information and how to put a safety plan in place.

    • Working in partnership with others

      A multi-agency response is the most effective response to DVA. We'll look at what makes a successful partnership between different agencies and learn about MARACs where professionals come together to discuss how to help victims.

    • Moving forwards

      In this final activity, we'll return to Sarah's story one last time. You'll also have the opportunity to see how much you have learned in our end of course test.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the concept of gender and its contribution to gender-based violence
  • Define and identify different forms of domestic violence and abuse
  • Describe the effects of DVA on individuals who experience it and their families
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of domestic violence and abuse
  • Evaluate the role and responsibilities of professionals in their identification and management of domestic violence and abuse
  • Provide effective support to survivors of domestic violence and abuse

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for health and social care professionals, including nurses, doctors, family support workers, and community workers.

The course will also appeal to lawyers, school teachers, police, and anyone familiar with victims of domestic violence.

This course has been designed to help practitioners who work with victims of domestic violence and abuse to provide effective support. We regret that we are unable to provide direct support to victims in this course.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Senior Lecturer at University of Sheffield. My research looks at gender based violence and domestic abuse. I also explore inequalities in health related to gender and ethnicity.

I work as a Learning Technologist within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sheffield.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 9 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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