Hairdressers in New South Wales will be adding another notch to their belt: domestic violence awareness training.
The NSW Government will implement training so hairdressers are prepared if a client discloses abuse while at their salon. This training will be held in five regions across the state — on the South Coast, the Central Coast, Albury, Wagga Wagga and the NSW Hunter region — in the coming months.
According to Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman, providing this training to hairdressers will ensure that victims of domestic violence are referred to support services if needed.
“Hairdressers are valuable members of our communities who develop meaningful relationships with their clients, particularly if they’ve worked with them for many years,” Speakman said in a press release.
“This training is about empowering hairdressers with information to best ensure that they are equipped to recognise domestic violence, manage any disclosures from customers, and most importantly, support the victim to get the help they need.
“Salon professionals are also a female-dominated workforce, so we’re confident this training can help with broader community awareness too, given the tragically disproportionate impact of domestic and family violence on women and children.”
It’s not uncommon for hairdressers and their clients to form close bonds and share personal information over appointments. Sandy Chong, CEO of the Australian Hairdressing Council, said that hairdressers often lend a sympathetic ear to their clients.
“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,” Chong said. “We encourage hairdressers to take up the opportunity to attend these workshops.”
This training is a part of the NSW Government’s $431 million investment over four years to respond to domestic and family violence. Other initiatives include support for frontline services as well as enforcement and prevention program to hold perpetrators to account.
The training workshops will be held by local legal and domestic violence services participating in Legal Aid NSW’s Co-operative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) Program. The CLSD Program works to support partnerships between legal and community services in order to bolster support for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in 12 regions across NSW.
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 Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491).