Last week, Anna Callaghan, our Head of Domestic Abuse Services attended Manchester College to train hairdressing students on what to do if they believe a person is suffering from domestic abuse.

The signs of someone suffering at the hands of domestic abuse do not always have to be bruises or cuts. It can be small actions such as speaking about a partner’s jealousy or perhaps their controlling behaviour.

The Cut It Out campaign, which follows a successful trial of a similar scheme in Rochdale, will teach trainee hairdressers and barbers how to recognise the signs of abuse and how to support a victim on how to get help.

We are working as part of the Community Safety Partnership with Manchester City Council, The IRIS Project, Women’s Aid and Independent Choices to implement the Cut it Out campaign. If it is a success at the Harpurhey Campus there are plans to roll it out to other further education institutions in Manchester.

Students at Manchester college with certificate of completion.

Last year in Manchester the police dealt with more than 13,000 incidents of domestic violence. Many of these incidents involved households with children. Research tells us that only half of all acts of domestic violence are reported to the police.

The decision to use hairdressers as the bridge between abuse and support was based on the close relationships that can be made in a salon. A client’s trusting relationship with their stylist can break down the fear of disclosing they are a victim of abuse.

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council and chair of the Manchester Domestic Violence and Abuse forum, said:

“Every year thousands of men and women suffer at the hands of abusive partners, often being too scared for their own safety or the safety of their children to speak out. For many an appointment at the salon or barbers could be a welcome reprieve from  life at home. By supporting this project we are working to ensure that these places remain a safe space, acting as a gateway for a victim of abuse to get the help they need.” 

As a relationship’s charity with over 10 years’ experience in preventing domestic abuse, we’re proud to support on an initiative which provides innovative solutions to help make the mission to end domestic abuse in Greater Manchester a reality.

To read more about what we’re doing to prevent domestic abuse, click here.

If you are affected by domestic abuse, worried about your behaviour or somebody else’s, please see our Useful Links page here.

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