Irish hairdressers and beauty therapists will be trained to spot signs of domestic abuse from today (Web), 15/11/2021, Sarah McKenny Barry

Staff members will be educated on how to respond to signs of domestic abuse in a supportive way.
A new partnership between Women’s Aid and the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation launches today, and it will see hairdressers and beauty therapists being trained to recognise the signs of domestic abuse.

The initiative will send domestic abuse support resources to 2,500 hair and beauty salons across the country.

The aim of the partnership is to “build a greater understanding and knowledge of domestic violence and abuse among hair and beauty professionals, and to create awareness with salon customers and employees on the prevalence, nature of domestic abuse and support pathways that are available”.

Each HABIC member salon will receive a packet with resource materials designed to educate staff on the signs of domestic abuse, and how to respond in a supportive way. They will be instructed on how to signpost resources that are available to those experiencing domestic violence, including Women’s Aid’s website and the 24hr National Freephone Helpline. Additionally, stickers with QR codes directing clients to these resources will be put on the mirrors.

On top of that, information and resources will be available in staff areas to support employees who may be experiencing abuse.

Commenting on the launch of the partnership, Sarah Benson, the CEO of Women’s Aid said: “We are delighted to partner with HABIC on this important initiative. Hair and beauty businesses in local communities across the country can play a crucial role in raising awareness among those who may need support, including staff and clients.

“When someone discloses that they are experiencing abuse, it can be difficult to know what to do. Quite often people are afraid to say the wrong thing. Our campaign provides helpful resources on recognising abuse and how to respond in a supportive way.

“We know that with the right information salon staff can make a difference in someone’s journey to safety. We hope that women accessing these local spaces, who are experiencing abuse, will call the Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline for information, support and referral to local domestic violence services, when needed.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, support is available. Women’s Aid’s 24hr National Freephone Helpline can be reached on 1800 341 900. Other resources can be found on their website right here.

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