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New Course Helps Hairdressers Spot The Signs of Domestic Violence

by eleanor / last updated July 9, 2021

hairdressers domestic violence

A new domestic violence awareness salon training course is launching in the UK and Ireland to help hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists identify the signs of domestic violence on clients.

The anti-domestic violence salon training by Shear Haven – created by Nashville-based salon owner Susanne Post who is a survivor of domestic violence – recognises that hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists have a unique relationship with their clients, and are in the perfect position to see and hear the signs of domestic violence.

However, many may not know how to respond to this, which is why Post developed her training programme so the industry can help women and men who are victims and signpost them to charities and organisations who can help them.

How can hairdressers spot the signs of domestic violence?

Shear Haven’s Domestic Violence Training course, which originally launched in the US last year in partnership with Barbicide, consists of a 20-minute online session, followed by a short quiz, covering everything from how to recognise the signs of domestic violence and successfully navigate conversations with clients who may be in danger, to how to pass along tools that can help the client get to safety.

Talking about why she launched the training, Post said: “In 2017, I heard about a law that was passed in Illinois requiring beauty professionals to be trained on domestic violence. I thought it was a brilliant idea and I felt we needed a similar movement in my home state of Tennessee.

“As a survivor of domestic abuse, I knew how isolating it can be, and as a stylist of 27 years, I knew how special our relationships are with our clients. We are in a unique position to recognise the signs of physical, emotional and verbal abuse. I teamed up with the YWCA in Nashville to form the Sheer Haven initiative.”

Salon business expert and Professional Beauty London speaker Liz McKeon has been announced as an ambassador for the training in the UK and Ireland, and is offering the course on her website.

Talking about why she has partnered with Shear Haven, McKeon said: “This time last year when we were in our first coronavirus lockdown I saw so many salon owners posting about domestic violence on social media, so for the first time ever I was noticing people putting up posts advising their customers – ‘if you need to talk, just call me’, or ‘if you need me to call the authorities ask for eyeshadow such and such’.

“This peaked my attention – that we in the salon industry have a responsibility to our clients. If they are in danger then we provide a safe haven for them really. Then one night I was going through LinkedIn and I found the Shear Haven link and did the training. The training is invaluable.”

She added: “There was also the personal aspect to it too – that I was that person who had to literally run for my life and go into hiding, and even though that was several years ago, it brought me right back to it.”

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, police in the UK recorded 259,324 domestic abuse offences between March 2020 and June 2020, which is a 7% increase on the same period in 2019. During and after the first coronavirus lockdown in April, May and June, roughly one-fifth of offences involved domestic abuse.

Found out more about Shear Haven’s Domestic Violence Training course and how hairdressers like you can help those suffering with domestic violence.

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