Training & Resources

The training and resources we provide is based on our domestic abuse practice and academic research expertise spanning 15 years. We offer professionals working with victim-survivors of domestic abuse new and innovative training that is vital in terms of safeguarding all survivors – adults, children and animals.

We deliver training courses to organisations and individuals that could come into contact with victim-survivors of domestic abuse and their animals. This includes veterinary practicies, emergency services and domestic abuse professionals. Our aim is to raise awareness of the link between domestic abuse of people and animal abuse.

Our training courses are delivered by our small team:

Shirley Westaway
Outreach Coordinator & Trainer

Shirley is a Safelives qualified Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) who has supported victim-survivors of domestic abuse for over fifteen years. Shirley joined Refuge4Pets as a founding Trustee before moving into her current role of Outreach Coordinator.

In this role Shirley supports victim-survivors to resettle in new communities and recover from trauma. Shirley is also a highly regarded, talented trainer who is passionate and committed about sharing valuable knowledge and expertise to support you to support others.

Dr Mary Wakeham
Founder & Service Manager

Mary has worked in the field of domestic abuse supporting children and adults for twelve years. In 2017 Mary founded Refuge4Pets driven by her passion to enable freedom from domestic abuse for people and animals. Mary has recently completed a PhD at the University of Bristol in the Centre for Gender and Violence Research.

Her research is the first UK study using a feminist methodological approach to explore the coexistence of animal abuse and domestic abuse.

Refuge4Pets Training Courses

Domestic Abuse Awareness: Training Course

This training session aims to increase participants understanding of the dynamics and impact of domestic abuse, the link between domestic abuse and animal abuse, and the importance of a multi-agency approach to tackling domestic abuse. The specific learning outcomes are:

  • To increase understanding about the dynamics and impact of domestic abuse
  • To raise awareness about how and why perpetrators abuse animals to coerce and control human victim-survivors of domestic abuse
  • To explore professional roles and responsibilities in terms of promoting the safety and wellbeing of all victim-survivors of domestic abuse – adults, children and animals

We do this by offering support based on the needs of each individual, which can include 1-2-1 and group-based support.

The training course is designed to appeal to a wide range of professionals supporting victim-survivors of domestic abuse both in services working with people and animals who may not have received any previous domestic abuse training.

Animal Abuse as a Strategy of Coercive Control: Training Course

This training session aims to increase awareness about the dynamics of animal abuse as a strategy of coercive control used by perpetrators. The specific learning outcomes are:

  • To increase understanding about how and why perpetrators abuse animals to coerce and control human victim-survivors of domestic abuse
  • To raise awareness about the implications of animal abuse in the context of domestic abuse for all victim-survivors – adults, children and animals
  • To promote the importance of considering animals in the safety plans of families escaping domestic abuse and provide professionals with practical tools and resources to do this

The training course is designed to appeal to individuals working with victim-survivors of domestic abuse and builds on their existing knowledge of the dynamics of domestic abuse.

Animal Welfare and Professional Responsibilities: Training Course

This training session aims to equip staff and volunteers to be confident in dealing with disclosures of animal abuse in the context of domestic abuse. The specific learning outcomes are:

  • To increase understanding about the dynamics of animal abuse in the context of domestic abuse and the impact this has on victim-survivors
  • To increase your understanding about legislation and practical resources to help participants to promote the safety of people and animals impacted by domestic abuse
  • To support participants to adopt a multi-agency approach to safeguarding all victim-survivors of domestic abuse (adults, children and animals)

This training is designed for staff and volunteers working in domestic abuse services.

Delivery of our Training Courses
The training sessions are 2.5 hours each, and delivered online via Zoom. The price is £40 per person per training course. The sessions will be as interactive as possible using a range of resources to appeal to participants’ varying learning styles. There will also be a 30-minute Q&A at the end of the session.

Participants will receive training materials and resources following the session.

The money we raise from these training courses helps us continue to provide our vital services to people and animals fleeing domestic abuse.

Book on a Training Course

Refuge4Pets Training Resources

As part of your training course you will receive a full pack of resources including the Abuse of Animals Wheel and the Four Planets diagram both developed by Dr Mary Wakeham as part of her PhD research at the University of Bristol, which can be viewed here…

Animal Abuse as a Strategy of Coercive Control, Wakeham, M. (Author). 28 Sep 2021*

*This research must not be printed or reproduced without the express permission of Dr Mary Wakeham.