#CutItOut campaign goes 'Live' in in fight against rising domestic abuse cases in Northamptonshire

Hairdressers are perfectly placed to spot signs once their lockdown ends on April 12

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 11:24 am

Northamptonshire's #CutItOut campaign tackling domestic abuse is set to return with a Facebook Live session tomorrow (Wednesday).

Covid restrictions halted a countywide roadshow of training sessions which has now been adapted for virtual delivery on the Force’s Facebook page.

The #CutItOut campaign targets hair and beauty professionals who are perfectly placed to help victims, offering advice and guidance on how to spot the signs of abuse and how to refer people to get help.

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CI Julie Meads (right) and PCSO Nadia Norman have been at the forefront of Northants' fight against domestic abuse

And Q&A session is timed head of the reopening of non-essential shops — including hairdressers — after lockdown on April 12.

Domestic abuse has increased by 13 per cent in Northamptonshire since the first Covid lockdown last year.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley will introduce tomorrow's session which will be led by Chief Inspector Julie Mead, PCSO Nadia Norman and hairdresser Stacey Fotheringham.

CI Julie Mead said: “When the campaign was first launched, I was the force’s lead for domestic abuse.

Wednesday's facebook Q&A session is under way at 4.30pm

"It’s something I have been passionate about for many years, having dealt with some harrowing cases in my 28 years of service.

“When Nadia approached me with the idea, I was instantly drawn to making it happen.

"The beauty industry is unique as it’s a personal service, you get to know and trust your hairdresser, beauty technician or therapist and we tend to go back to the same service provider, so over the months and years that bond and that trust grows.

“This is why the beauty industry has a key part to play in cutting out domestic abuse. I found my own hairdresser Stacey almost 17 years ago and her story is incredibly inspiring. Even if we help one person through our campaign, then it’s worth it.”

PCSO Nadia Norman, who first floated the idea of a targeted campaign in 2019, said: “I decided to do some research because I was working with domestic abuse victims and at the same time, a close family member disclosed years of controlling and coercive behaviour.

“All of them described how they had wished someone had just asked them if they were okay or been confident enough to ask what was going on. It can be that simple. They believed it would have been the first step to feeling supported and validating their experiences and feelings.

“I contacted Rochdale council — they also have a campaign called Cut it Out — and Norfolk Constabulary, too.

"They had organised their own awareness sessions following the murder of Kerri McAuley, tragically killed at the hands of her former partner.

"Both Rochdale and Norfolk shared all their information for us to develop and I was put in touch with Kerri’s hairdresser, Annie McAuley and Lesley, her mother, who were amazingly supportive of our plans.”

Corby hairdresser, Stacey Fotheringham has personal experience of domestic abuse.

She said: “Julie asked me if I would be prepared to be part of the campaign — I have been her hairdresser for 15 years and she knew about my life growing up, experiencing domestic violence as a child.

"My immediate answer was yes! If I can help just one person through my involvement, it’s more than worth it.”

Anybody with a question can email [email protected] or post on the Force’s Facebook page.