Violence Awareness and Action Training

Violence Awareness and Action Training (VAAT) was developed in 2001 to address the need for violence awareness training for the public service and in the community.

The overall learning goal of VAAT is to increase the sensitivity and awareness of participants to the factors contributing to violence and the impact of violence. The training is designed as a basic overview of the issues associated with violence prevention.

The Violence Prevention Initiative offers a one-day VAAT awareness workshop as well as a two-day VAAT Train-the-Trainer workshop.

Violence Awareness and Action Training One-Day Workshop

The one-day VAAT workshop aims to improve services to victims of violence by increasing sensitivity and awareness of service providers to the factors contributing to violence and its impact on society. Participants are provided with an opportunity to examine societal attitudes, values and beliefs that support violence. The workshop is designed to be co-facilitated by Violence Prevention Initiative’s partners and stakeholders and delivered within an inter-departmental, community/regional model to improve interagency communication, coordination and capacity building.

The overall goals of the training are:

  • To assist participants in examining attitudes, values, and beliefs that support violence in our society;
  • To provide information (facts and causes) on different forms of violence;
  • To provide, through group discussion, an empowering and reflective training environment which encourages personal insight into the experiences of survivors of violence;
  • To build empathy and respect for client self-determination;
  • To include anecdotal, statistical, and theoretical information; and
  • To promote an inter-agency approach to government and community violence prevention services.

This training is provided free of charge throughout the province. A certificate of completion will be issued from the Violence Prevention Initiative upon completion.

Please contact your local Violence Prevention Newfoundland and Labrador Organization to register for this training or to receive additional information.

Violence Awareness and Action Training Two-Day Train-the-Trainer Workshop

Prerequisite: One-day Violence Awareness and Action Training (VAAT) Workshop.

The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI), in collaboration with Provincial Government departments and agencies, supports an interdisciplinary approach for violence awareness and prevention. The two-day Train-the-Trainer workshop provides participants with the skills needed to co-facilitate a VAAT session. VAAT is designed to be co-facilitated by individuals from VPI Provincial Government and community partners. The Train-the-Trainer workshop supports individuals who wish to become VAAT facilitators by offering training on adult learning principles, facilitation skills, and the material to be used in the one-day VAAT workshop.

Potential participants for the VAAT Train-the-Trainer workshop must demonstrate knowledge of the area of violence and violence prevention and recognize that violence is a complex social problem, deeply rooted in society’s traditional acceptance of inequality and power imbalances. They should have some experience facilitating groups or conducting training activities or presentations. Good interpersonal skills, such as listening and sensitivity, plus a willingness to be a leader in their department or agency, are an asset. It is expected that trained facilitators will offer two, one-day VAAT workshops and one, two-day VAAT Train-the-Trainer workshop each year for two years, requiring time away from their workplace.

The two-day Train-the-Trainer workshop will:

  • Familiarize trainees with the VAAT Facilitator’s Guide, resources and materials through group discussion and analysis;
  • Practice delivery of violence awareness materials and resources;
  • Review adult learning principles and facilitation skills;
  • Prepare trainers for future in-service delivery of the one-day VAAT workshop; and
  • Promote an inter-departmental, inter-agency approach to government and community violence prevention services.

Criteria for Train-the-Trainer Participants

Knowledge of Topic:

  • Demonstrates knowledge of the areas of violence and violence prevention;
  • Supports the content and messages promoted in the workshop;
  • Establishes and builds working relationships with community agencies and institutions;
  • Demonstrates an understanding of gender equality and the importance of using a gender inclusive lens in any approach to anti-violence work; and
  • Demonstrates an analysis and acceptance of the Violence Prevention Initiative’s stated value that violence is a crime and a complex social issue, deeply rooted in society’s traditional acceptance of inequality.

Facilitation / Training Skills:

  • Experience facilitating groups, conducting training activities or presentations, or some training knowledge/experience;
  • Understanding of or desire to learn about adult education;
  • Knowledge of group processes: how groups develop, what dynamics may evolve, and strategies for coping with group conflict;
  • Self-awareness regarding dominant learning style, communication style and ability to change style to fit the needs of the group;
  • Ability to enhance participants’ learning through integration of work, family and community-related activities; and
  • Can create a physical and interpersonal climate that is conducive to learning.

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to present clearly in front of groups;
  • Good listening skills; and
  • Sensitivity to participants.

Leadership Skills:

  • Feels comfortable providing leadership to department/agency/group;
  • Has a clear understanding of the values basic to the program; and
  • Encourages collaborative learning and respect among learners through sharing ideas, asking questions, responding to others’ comments.

Other Selection Criteria:

  • Selected by a supportive organization/department/agency where these skills can be developed and participation in training is valued as positive career advancement; and
  • Both female and male participants requested.


  • Interest in and commitment to violence prevention; and
  • Willingness, with department/agency/group support, to commit time and energy facilitating VAAT workshops.

Training Requirements:

  • VAAT facilitators are:
    • Required to co-facilitate at least one, one-day VAAT workshop with an experienced trainer before they can opt to offer a session on their own, without a co-facilitator;
    • Required to facilitate two, one-day VAAT workshops before they can facilitate a two-day Train-the-Trainer workshop; and
    • Expected to facilitate at least two one-day VAAT workshops and one Train-the-Trainer workshop per year.

For more information on the training, please contact the Women’s Policy Office at (709) 729-5009 or, or contact the Violence Prevention Newfoundland and Labrador Organization in your area.