Hairdressers will receive domestic violence awareness training to ensure they’re better prepared if a client discloses abuse when attending their salon.
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the training, which will be held in five regions across NSW over the coming months, would help ensure victims were 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,” Mr Speakman said.
“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.”
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.”
Workshops will be held on the State’s South Coast and Central Coast as well as in Albury, Wagga Wagga, and in the NSW Hunter region.
The workshops will be delivered by local legal and domestic violence services participating in Legal Aid NSW’s Co-operative Legal Service Delivery Program. The CLSD Program works to support partnerships between legal and community services to bolster support for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in 12 NSW regions.
The training is part of the NSW Government’s record $431 million investment over four years to respond to domestic and family violence, which includes support for frontline services as well as enforcement and prevention programs to hold perpetrators to account.
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).