Corby crimpers, borough beauticians and barbers to help cut out domestic abuse
Corby's community of hairdressers and beauticians are being recruited to offer support to clients suffering domestic violence.
#CutItOutNorthants is a borough-wide initiative to train beauty and hair professionals to ensure they know how to have difficult conversations about domestic abuse with their clients.
The free two-hour training scheme will educate those working in the beauty industry how to spot the signs of domestic abuse and the correct way to refer clients for help, as well as giving them valuable information on the local services available.
Corby hairdresser Stacey Fotheringham, who will speak at the event and has been #CutItOut trained, said: "I grew up in domestic violence. My mum had a violent husband and if somebody had asked her or questioned her we might have got more support.
"Hairdressers are skilled in talking to people. I have people sitting in my chair and you have a level of confidentiality.
"Before my training I was very lucky because many police officers are my clients. I've always asked advice of what I can do and I'm quite clued-up on what to do.
"We can look out for clients. We're not here to save them but to point them in the right direction, to give them support to help themselves.
"This is to give them the tools and there's lots of support. We're not there to be judgmental."
Stacey, 36, who works from her home in Tower Hill Road, Corby was recruited to help set up #CutItOut by her client Chief Inspector Julie Mead.
Chief Inspector Mead, Northamptonshire Police's officer in charge of adult safeguarding and public protection, said: "For many women, beauty salons and hairdressers are safe, female-only spaces where they are at ease and salons become environments where victims can confide in people who they trust.
"With information on how to safely refer victims to help, salon professionals can become invaluable and influential in reducing the impact of domestic abuse and ensuring victims know someone is listening.
"This is an opportunity for beauty therapists and hairdressers to understand and learn more, raising awareness of this still ‘under the radar’ abuse."
Funded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northamptonshire Police, the #Cut It Out Corby training will be hosted by domestic abuse partnerships including police, Voice Northants (a free, confidential support service), Crown Prosecution Service and fellow hairdressers.
The event has been organised in memory of Kerri McAuley, a Norfolk woman who had confided to her hairdresser she had been attacked by her abusive boyfriend. She was killed by him in 2017.
Upon completion, therapists will be given a pin badge to wear at work, which will act as a prompt to open up the conversation with clients, and the council will do a three-month follow up with all participants to offer further support.
Stacey added: "I would encourage all hairdressers and beauticians to come along. We are always going on training courses to learn about new techniques.
"Listening is another part of that job and a skill, and this course is free."
The #Cut It Out event will take place on Monday, February 3 at the Corby Cube Council Chamber from 6.30pm to 9pm.
Each participant will be given a free information pack to take away after the event.
To take part please email [email protected] by Wednesday, January 29.
The #CutItOut campaign will be launched in Kettering in March.