Increasing Awareness of Domestic Abuse
This week, Nick Alston visited a first-of-its-kind event designed to tackle domestic abuse in Essex.
The Cut It Out event was held in the Braintree District Council Offices and was organised by Safer Places, Braintree Community Safety Partnership and Martini’s Hair and Beauty Salon.
The Cut It Out Campaign is a programme dedicated to training salon professionals in the fight against domestic abuse. After specialist training, hairdressers will have the confidence and the knowledge to encourage victims to seek help and support.
The PCC New Initiatives Fund has provided more than £3,000 to help finance the project which is also supported by the High Sheriff’s Fund.
At the event, Mr Alston said, “Domestic abuse is one of the key areas of focus in my Police and Crime Plan and we are working with many partners across Essex to improve the service offered to victims of domestic abuse.”
Beth Hammond, Territory Manager for Safer Places, explains why salon staff members are being trained up: “Beauty parlours are places where women disclose information about domestic abuse; it’s often one of the rare opportunities that they can be alone.
“Events like these educate people. Today, we have an interactive quiz which provides meaningful data about domestic abuse and informs people of how prevalent it is in society. One in four women are victims of domestic abuse and sometimes these cases result in death,” continues Beth.
From the States to Essex
Tracey Parry, Community Safety Manager for Braintree District Council, discusses the history of the Cut It Out initiative: “It’s based on a project that works in America and is centred on the belief that when women go to the hairdressers they often reveal personal information. The scheme was rolled out across 50 states in America and 450,000 hairdressers were trained. We thought we would do it on a smaller scale and pilot it with hairdressers in Braintree.”
Martini’s Hair and Beauty Salon is the first salon in the area to receive domestic abuse awareness training and offered free hair and nail treatments at the event. Asti Martin, owner of the salon comments: “I was looking to support a charity at the salon and the Cut It Out Campaign came at a good time. We are in a women’s environment and you hear a lot of things and want to be able to help.”
The PCC continues: “I would like to thank all of the organisers for getting involved in this way and for arranging such a successful event. We need to do everything we can to offer support to victims of domestic abuse early on, hopefully before any major harm has occurred. The idea of inviting ladies’ hairdressers to help is inspired, simple and I warmly endorse it.”
The event itself raised over £500, of which will be donated to Safer Places.
If you require any more information about the Cut it Out Campaign, please see www.saferplaces.co.uk
If you need to report a crime, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.