Hairdressers and beauty therapists to be trained to spot signs of domestic abuse

‘The women and men behind the chair are in the perfect position to hear about and see the signs of domestic violence,’ say experts

Sophie Gallagher
Thursday 08 July 2021 09:12
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A programme that teaches hairdressers and beauty therapists how to spot the signs of domestic abuse is to be launched in the UK and Ireland.

The educational training programme, Shear Haven, is already in use in the USA where it was launched four years ago by a salon owner and domestic violence survivor.

Susanne Post from Tennessee, developed the training in 2017 alongside an accredited industry body. It consists of 20-minute sessions that can be completed online, followed by a test and a certificate if you pass.

It is specifically tailored for beauty industry professionals who work in customer-facing roles such as hairdressing, salon and spa therapists and beauty-counter consultants.

It not only equips people with the knowledge to recognise potential signs of violence in the home but also to successfully navigate a conversation with clients and safely pass on tools that could help them get the help they need.

In a statement the brand said: “Salon stylists and therapists and spa professionals have a unique relationship with their clients. The women and men behind the chair are in the perfect position to hear about and see the signs of domestic violence.”

To date, more than 25,000 beauty professionals from around the globe have taken the training.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, rates of domestic abuse have soared as people spent more time at home with violent partners.

According to the Office for National Statistics, police in the UK recorded 259,324 domestic abuse offences between March and June 2020, a seven per cent increase on the same period in 2019.

Between April 2020 and February 2021 calls and contacts logged on Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline (NDAH) went up by an average of 61 per cent.

Lisa King, Refuge director of communications and external relations said in March this year: “For women and children experiencing domestic abuse, home is not a safe place. Lockdown measures, where women have been isolated and confined with their perpetrators more than ever before, have compounded their exposure to violence and abuse.”

There have also been warnings from domestic abuse charities about the impact that the Euro 2020 tournament will have on rates of violence.

Research found the number of domestic abuse cases reported to Lancashire police force in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups surged by 38 per cent on the days when England lost. While incidents increased by 26 per cent when the team either won or drew a match.

To access the training click here.

Anyone who requires help or support can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline which is open 24/7 365 days per year on 0808 2000 247 or via their website nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

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