Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today announced that hairdressers will be offered training about the warning signs and dynamics of domestic and family violence as part of an innovative approach to raise community awareness and support victim-survivors.
Mr Ward joined with the NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman MP SC and the staff from Scruples Hair Care in Nowra earlier today to officially launch “Cut it Out” – the first of its type in NSW – a training program for hairdressers to spot signs of domestic violence and help refer people to the right supports and services.
Mr Ward said that local hairdressers were in a unique position to help due to their trusted bond with clients.
“It is not uncommon for people to disclose concerns about family violence to their hairdresser, and salon professionals have indicated that they would like to be better equipped on how to refer clients who may be at risk and require support,” he said.
“Educating hairdressers about what local domestic violence services are available, and most importantly how clients can go about seeking support is an additional means to assist people in abusive relationships.
“Hairdressers will hear directly from local domestic and family violence experts at the training workshops, to understand the types of support that can help those affected by domestic and family violence.
“A series of seven workshops will take place on the South Coast and other regional towns and will be managed by the Co-operative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) program, funded by Legal Aid NSW,” Mr Ward said.
The CLSD Program works to support partnerships between legal and community services to bolster support for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in 12 NSW regions.
Legal Aid NSW CEO Brendan Thomas said co-ordinating a program such as this was an innovative way of engaging with people needing legal support.
“The easier it becomes for women and children to gain the full protection of the law, the greater progress we will make in eradicating violence in families,” Mr Thomas said.
Australian Hairdressing Council CEO Sandy Chong said hairdressers often listen to the problems of their clients and offer a sympathetic ear.
“It comes with the job, so the workshops can help them know what to do if a client does disclose to them that they are experiencing domestic violence,” Ms Chong said.
“We encourage hairdressers to take up the opportunity to attend these workshops,” she said.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000).
For confidential advice, support and referrals related to domestic and family violence, contact: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), The NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63) or the Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491).