When my children were young I was a Personal Trainer and Health Coach. It enabled me to work around my responsibilities as a mother and combine my love of training and Marathon running. I first started running as a way to help deal with the with the depression and overwhelming emotions I had as I began the process of learning the true impact of the abuse I had been subjected to.

Lack of understanding made my situation worse

When I first escaped I had been so conditioned to the abuse I did not even recognise it as abuse. It took time, patience and the skills of professionals who understood how to communicate with me and support me. This included knowing their limits and when and where to refer me.

I was blessed to work with some of the best. But not all the professionals I worked with understood the complexities of domestic violence and the consequences of this impacted me negatively for a long time.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

As a personal trainer, January is an interesting month. At both at the Gym and in parks, I see many people with a trainer who are obviously new to training, determined to be healthier in the New Year and this year is no different.

Some of what I see plain and simply scares me. To the untrained eye, this training looks effective, but because of my years in the business and my experience, I can see how unsafe it is.

People trust the trainer as an expert.

The way the trainers are getting their clients to perform these exercises is nothing short of dangerous. They do not fully understand the intricacies of exercise the form and its impact on other parts of the body.

I feel for the clients because they have no idea, they are trusting the information they are given is not only safe but will improve their health and life.

Worse still is watching people who think they understand how to train themselves. Lifting weight that is too heavy and in the wrong form. They are at best working too hard to achieve their results and at worst risking serious injury by getting it wrong.

Workplace Domestic Violence is so important

The work I do has changed, but the issue of unsafe training hasn’t. I hear people talking about Workplace Domestic Violence Training and I know it is not safe.

I have at times called people out on this. I know this can have a negative impact on my business as building relationships is important for businesses, especially small businesses. It is the network and connections I make that will build my business.

Getting right is too important

This is too important though, Standing strong on this has cost me collaborations and in the short term hindered my business growth. But, I have lived with and witnessed first hand the impact of getting this wrong.

In all honesty, I am worried about this blog negatively impacting my business, I have children who are completely dependent on my business succeeding. Speaking out is hard and not without risk and it scares me.

But, I can no longer keep silent and ask these question of you?

  1. Do you know enough about the complexities of domestic violence to know if your training is safe?
  2. Do you worry more about the stats then how to communicate?
  3. Does the training you are implementing/teaching evoke empathy or sympathy?
  4. Will those who disclose after the training is implemented feel safe and supported?
  5. Are you creating an environment where people will feel safe to disclose?

We do need to move from awareness to action, although it needs to be the right action!

The consequence of being with a personal trainer who doesn’t truly understand what they are doing is an injury, the consequence of bad advice when it comes to Domestic Violence Training could be much higher.