Online Training

Domestic Violence Training

This is a self-paced domestic violence training program geared to social workers at all levels of experience.

Social workers, whatever their specific role, will encounter families and individuals affected by domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV), terms we use interchangeably. Given the prevalence of domestic violence and the serious risks to physical and emotional health associated with it, all social workers should have, at least, a basic level of training in this area.

To that end, between June, 2000 and June, 2002, the Massachusetts NASW Committee on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault developed the "Web-based Domestic Violence Training Curriculum." Beginning on the Simmons College School of Social Work web system, it was subsequently put onto the World Wide Web with the intention of training Massachusetts social workers. Once available, however, it was used all over the country by social workers and others.

In 2017 we again revised it in its present form.

The training is organized into short chapters, each followed by a quiz. On completion of each quiz, you can click on "view attempt" and open a window that indicates whether your answer agrees with our preferred answer, and if not, tells you our preferred answer. A final quiz on all the chapters can be submitted for social work CEU's.

The goal is enough knowledge for you to be helpful in the moment and to make optimal use of your local resources. It is intended to increase access to important information, but it does not replace live training, which may be available in your community.
A few hours with a self-paced training program is only a beginning.

Hopefully, you will come away from the self-paced training aware of "red flags" for dangerous violence, critical resources, and basic safety planning principles. You can also download a manual, which we hope will be a useful resource to you. Some of the information should be of enduring value. However, some laws and many resources (especially phone numbers) often change.

Learning Goals
  • Familiarity with definitions of domestic violence, distinctions among types of violence, and issues in establishing prevalence.
  • Clarity about ones own goals and role in responding to those in situations of intimate violence.
  • Increased skill in sensitive interviewing of survivors
  • Ability to recognize threats to safety from intimate violence.
  • Ability to help clients/patients/survivors assess their level of danger and their resources for safety.
  • Ability to safety plan with victims/survivors.
  • Knowledge of legal and community resources for victims/survivors.
  • Knowledge of risks, legal requirements, and resources for children involved in domestic violence situations.
  • Knowledge of legal requirements and resources for men and women who use violent behavior.

Many people contributed to the earlier version and to this one. Some of Susan Jensen's language from the early version is retained here. Those who reviewed sections of the current version and gave helpful suggestions include:

- Ann Fleck-Henderson

Public Policy Training

This is a self-paced public policy training program geared to social workers and professionals at all levels of experience.