Women’s Aid partners with beauty salons to combat domestic abuse

Q102 (Web), 15/11/2021, Mike Gilmore

Research shows that one in four women in Ireland will experience some form of domestic abuse.

A new campaign has been launched to raise awareness and supports for domestic abuse.

Women’s Aid has partnered with the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation.

Around 2,5000 salons are going to take part in this new initiative, which was launched at a salon on South William Street on Monday morning.


Workers will be educated on how to offer assistance to victims of domestic abuse, while QR codes will be available on mirrors so victims can discretely scan them to obtain information packs to help them.

EU research suggests that one in four women in Ireland in a relationship have been a abused by a former or current partner.

While last year alone, almost 30,000 contacts were made to Women’s Aid’s frontline services, clocking up just shy of 25,000 disclosures of domestic abuse against women, while that was closer to 6,000 for children.

This represents an increase of 43% on pre pandemic levels.

CEO of Women’s Aid, Sarah Benson, hailed the partnership as an important step in giving every opportunity to assist victims of domestic abuse.

“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.”

CEO of Hair and Beauty industry Confederation, Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, says they were neatly poised to take part.

“The relationship between clients and HABIC hairdressers and beauticians is one that is developed over time and is built on trust.

“From engagement with Women’s Aid, we understand that salon’s may be the only safe space for some women, away from an abusive behavior.

“Over the coming period, we will focus on supporting our members and to give staff confidence and resources to know how to respond when someone does confide in them.

“With a largely female workforce, we also want to ensure our members feel supported at work and can access the necessary supports if they need to.

“We look forward to working with the team at Women’s Aid going forward to listen to women, support and believe them.”

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