#CutItOut domestic abuse campaign goes 'virtual' in Northamptonshire

Police received 7,607 calls about domestic related incidents in just six months

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 13th November 2020, 4:23 pm
Updated Friday, 13th November 2020, 4:26 pm

A campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse among Northamptonshire's hairdressers and beauty professionals is going 'virtual' as the number of calls for help rise.

RJB Barbers in Thrapston recently hosted the first online session, delivered by PCSO Nadia Noman, with thousands engaging across social media platforms and some in-depth discussions around male domestic abuse.

#CutItOut forms part of Northamptonshire Police’s wider strategy in tackling domestic abuse, one of the current Force priorities. It affects thousands of people in the county every year and the numbers have increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between April and September this year, the force recorded 7,607 domestic related incidents — an 11.4 per cent increase on the previous year.

Salon owner Jonny Hedges said: “The session was informative and eye-opening.

"All of our staff felt it impacted the way they view the issue. It is extremely important people are made aware and educated about male domestic abuse to avoid the stigma surrounding it.

"Nadia delivered a detailed and educational session that we would recommend to ensure everyone understands the different types of domestic abuse.”

Hairdressers and therapists are in a unique position to help those experiencing abuse. Photo: Getty Images

Although currently closed during the second national lockdown, hair and beauty professionals are perfectly placed to help and spot victims so #CutItOut was launched a year ago to offer advice and guidance on how to identify signs of abuse and how to refer people to get help.

It started as a 12-month, county-wide roadshow of events but was paused because of the pandemic.

Chief Inspector Julie Mead, who leads the campaign, said: “Many things have had to change during these strange and difficult times but what hasn’t changed is the need to support those living with domestic abuse.

“We know this is now more of a risk than ever so we adapted the #CutItOut campaign to keep the key messages at the forefront of the beauty industry’s thinking. And, as always, they don’t disappoint in their dedication to keeping their clients safe.”

The #CutItOut campaign was launched last year to combat domestic abuse in Northamptonshire

Alex Skeel — whose partner was the first woman to be jailed in the UK for controlling and coercive behaviour — talked about his experiences in a video during the session hosted in Thrapston.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Glenn, Head of Northamptonshire Police’s Adult Safeguarding, added: “The messages this campaign seeks to promote have never been more important — this year has been an incredibly difficult one for many with stay at home and financial pressures placing additional stress on families.

“Hairdressers and therapists are in a unique position to help those who may be experiencing any type of abuse, reassure them and encourage them to take the first steps to getting safe.”

For details of future events, follow Northants Police on social media, or email [email protected]

If you are concerned about a friend, relative or colleague, or are suffering from domestic abuse, the following links offer guidance and advice:

https://www.mankind.org.uk for male victims of domestic abuse

www.voicenorthants.org or phone 0300 303 1965

Email [email protected] or phone 01604 888211

www.ndas.co or phone 0300 012 0154

For help and advice got to: https://www.northants.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/To access a perpetrator programme, contact Respect – the national association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services.

In an emergency, victims of domestic abuse should call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.

In non-emergency cases and for general advice, please call 101. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.

You can also call the national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.

www.voicenorthants.org — tel: 0300 303 1965 — also offers guidance and advice.