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Hairdressers and beauty therapists are set to be taught to recognise signs of domestic abuse as part of a new scheme.
The training programme was first launched in the USA by Susanne Post, a salon owner and domestic abuse survivor.
The Tennessee-native worked alongside an accredited industry body to develop the scheme, which has been dubbed 'Shear Haven'. The course consists of a number of 20 minute sessions, which are completed online, before taking a test. A certificate is issued if you pass the course.
The short programme teaches those working in beauty to look out for signs that indicate violence or abuse at home, as well as being able to have a conversation with the alleged victim about keeping safe and potential next steps.
Shear Haven is specifically tailored for those who work in customer-facing roles in the beauty industry, with hairdressers, beauticians and consultants all eligible to apply for the scheme.
Currently, over 25,000 hairdressers from around the world have been trained through the programme, which is expected to launch in the UK and Ireland later this year.
News of the scheme comes after reports of domestic violence soared in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Centre For Women's Justice revealed that there was a 49 per cent rise in calls in domestic violence helplines, an estimate of 380 weekly calls to police and 16 homicides all linked to domestic abuse in the first month of lockdown, with experts predicting the actual figure will be much higher, due to women finding it too risky to report.
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."
If you have been affected by the content of this article, please contact Woman's Aid for further advice.
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