If you work within an organisation wherein your staff have to deal with physically aggressive behaviour you may need to provide them with ‘Breakaway Training’. ‘Breakaway Training’ covers those techniques designed to enable a member of staff to safely ‘break away’ from someone whose behaviour is aggressive or perceived as threatening, and who may be attempting to grab or hold them. So, what are the most effective and safest breakaway techniques? Let’s explore the Top 5 Breakaway Techniques that will be covered in any of SecuriCare’s top quality ‘Breakaway Training’ courses.

Breakaway Training

  1. 1.DON’T BE THERE. In order to be grabbed you need to be within grabbing range. On a good ‘Breakaway Training’ session the instructor will show you how create a ‘personal safety buffer zone’. This is a safe amount of space between you and the person you are dealing with. The greater the perceived danger the bigger the safety buffer zone. In order to establish how great the danger is, and therefore how much space is required a dynamic risk assessment should be undertaken. This will be covered on your ‘Breakaway Training’ course as staff are taught to spot the difference between behaviour that reveals distress and behaviour that reveals an intent to escalate to active physical aggression.
  2. 2. ASK THEM NICELY. Less is always more. If someone grabs you and your default response is to engage in a physical tussle, or to engage in some form of action that could be construed as a counter attack don’t be surprised if the situation escalates. On one of our ‘Breakaway Training’ courses it will be stressed that verbal de-escalation is always the preferred route out of a difficult situation. By asking the person to let go you are not only demonstrating that you are not hostile to them, but also potentially speaking to bystanders who could provide positive witness re-enforcement after the event.
  3. 3. WAIT THEM OUT. In the event someone does grab you it also doesn’t always follow that they are out to hurt you. They may just want your attention, or for you to take them seriously. You may need to verbally reach out to them, or to otherwise reassure them. During this stage in the de-escalation process you may resolve the incident by giving them the opportunity to let go of their own accord. On any of SecuriCares ‘Breakaway Training’ courses this is covered in practical detail and the importance of the dynamic risk assessment process can be seen yet again. The ability to read a situation and not to over-react is a key de-escalation skill. It also means that the relationship between the staff member and the patient, service user or supported person is also preserved, and remains positive. Something that should always be a goal during any conflict management scenario.
  4. 4. USE BODY MECHANICS. There comes a point when there is a need to escape from a potentially dangerous situation. This only arises in those circumstances when a real risk is discerned. On a ‘Breakaway Training’ course the use of low key body mechanics should be explored in detail. If you’ve ever been on a first aid training course you will have been taught how the leg can be used as a lever to turn a supine person into the recovery position. Using this simple technique a person can move another twice their size with ease. The same principle will be explored within the context of breakaway techniques on one of our courses. Although we are talking about using a degree of force, once again less is always more.
  5. 5.DON’T USE ANY MORE FORCE THAN IS NECESSARY. People always fear the worst. A common refrain on ‘Breakaway Training’ courses is ‘”What happens if that doesn’t work!”. The answer is to explore the next option in the continuum of breakaway techniques. This doesn’t mean cause pain or injury, or lose control. It simply means remaining calm, being pragmatic, engaging in problem solving and adapting the technique. Once again on SecuriCares ‘Breakaway Training’ courses this is covered in detail.

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to enable support workers, carers and foster families to best respond to any ‘Challenging Behaviour’ that may occur. All programmes are finalised after full training needs analysis and delivered by experienced frontline practitioners. Click to see our ‘Preventing & Managing Challenging Behaviour’ Course which includes ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ techniques designed to minimise the need for any kind of restrictive intervention. You can also take a look at our person centred Behaviour Planning Service.

Securicare also offer a ‘Restraint Reduction’ support service and training in support of improving safety. Check out our ‘Physical Intervention’ courses and our online ‘Restraint Risks’ course, or ask for details about our newest course 'Physical Interventions: Removing Risk & Reducing Use' a course that provides practical guidance on how to manage risks within the context of an incident as well as prevent future restraint use. 

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442