Initiatives to train beauty therapists to spot domestic abuse launch in the North
Two new training schemes that teach beauty therapists and hairdressers how to spot the signs of domestic abuse have launched in the North of England.
Cut It Out Rochdale is a borough-wide initiative that’s training beauty and hair professionals how to have the conversation about domestic abuse with their clients.
Run and funded by Rochdale Borough Council, the free two-hour course reveals how to identify the signs of domestic abuse and the correct way to refer clients for help, as well as giving them valuable information on the local services available.
Upon completion, therapists are given a pin badge to wear at work, which will act as a prompt to open up the conversation with clients, and the council will do a three month follow up with all participants to offer further support.
The scheme first launched at Hopwood Hall College, with 90 beauty and hairdressing students being taught how to spot the signs, and now five salons are already signed up for the training.
“For many women, beauty salons and hairdressers are safe, female-only spaces where they are at ease and salons become environments where victims can confide in people who they trust,” said Jaria Hussain-lala, early help domestic abuse officer at Rochdale Council.
“With proper training on how to safely refer victims to help, salon professionals can become invaluable and influential in reducing the impact of domestic abuse and ensuring victims know someone is listening.”
Rates of domestic abuse are higher in Rochdale than the England average and last year Greater Manchester Police dealt with more than 4,000 incidents in the borough.
Meanwhile, a workshop that aims to empower beauty therapists and hairdressers to help victims of domestic violence and abuse is being held in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, on May 21.
Run by Jane Thoy, BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) registered counsellor and freelance trainer, the free RealTalk session will teach therapists in the Craven and Wharfe Valley areas how to spot the signs of abuse and approach clients in a sensitive and appropriate way.
“This is an opportunity [for beauty therapists and hairdressers] to understand and learn more and I was happy to contribute to raising awareness of this still ‘under the radar’ abuse,” Thoy told the Telegraph & Argus.
“I’m also aware that many people still operate under the assumption that domestic violence and abuse is a rare occurrence in more affluent and leafy areas, which only makes it harder still to both recognise it and also to disclose it.”
Thoy was prompted to set up the event after reading about the case of Kerri McAuley, a woman who confided in her hairdresser after she was attacked by her abusive boyfriend. She was killed in 2017.
The event will take place at Ilkley Moor Vaults on Stockeld Road and will run from 6:30pm–8:30pm.
Although admission is free, you will need to register for a ticket by emailing email@example.com.
The role beauty professionals can play in providing physical and emotional help to the public is gaining momentum, with beauty therapist and abuse survivor Katie Walker looking to open a domestic violence centre, where women suffering from abuse will be taught hair and beauty techniques, as well as be offered counselling.
What do you make of the schemes? Tell us your thoughts below.