Safe & Together model, Domestic Abuse

In Manchester, our practice model for responding to domestic abuse, controlling and coercive behaviours is the Safe & Together model. This is our approach. 


The Safe and Together Model is a perpetrator pattern based, child centred, survivor strengths approach to working with domestic abuse. The three key principles of the Safe & Together model Inform our practice throughout and is referenced and linked throughout the training offered by the Social Work Consultants. 


The model was originally developed for use within the child welfare systems. Applying the model has both policy and practice implications for a variety of professionals, organisations and systems. Including domestic abuse advocates, family support services, courts and others. 


The model is behaviourally focused and highlights how work is carried out practically and with concrete system changes in practice. The model has a growing body of evidence associated with it including recent correlations with a reduction in out of home placements in child welfare domestic violence cases. The Safe & Together model compliments our practice under the Signs of Safety, through a strength based approach with survivors, and is aligned with our principles and our behaviours in practice. 






Coercive Control

Coercive control is a form of psychological abuse whereby the perpetrator exerts power over a victim, often through intimidation or humiliation. The Government definition also outlines the following:


  • Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
  • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour


The Serious Crime Act 2015 (the 2015 Act) created a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships. The new offence closes a gap in the law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour in an ongoing relationship between intimate partners or family members. Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship: Statutory Guidance Framework, December 2015.

Deeper Insights Into Coercive Control

Luke Hart talks about his experience of domestic violence and coercive control within his childhood and into his adult life. If you are not familiar with Luke and Ryan Hart’s stories, take time to view his keynote speech. Their mother and sister were murdered by their father in 2016. Their book, Remembered Forever, is highly recommended reading for practitioners.

Coercive control is domestic abuse. Mumsnet, Women's Aid and Surrey Police have joined together to help raise awareness of the dangers of coercive control.

Professor Evan Stark gives a lecture to help improve understanding of coercive control.

DA Services & Organisations Database

© 2021-22 Stephen Brock

Developed by: Stephen Brock, M.S.W., Social Work Consultant.

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