Over 2,500 hair and beauty salons nationwide will be providing domestic abuse support resources as part of a new partnership between Women's Aid and the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (HABIC).
The aim of the new partnership is to educate salon staff about how to recognise signs of domestic abuse and how to provide support.
From this week, HABIC salons will receive resources to educate staff and clients including posters highlighting the 10 common signs of domestic abuse.
Furthermore, salon mirrors will also have stickers containing QR codes that will direct salon customers to the 24hr National Freephone Helpline and the Women’s Aid website.
It is also hoped that the initiative will create better awareness among customers and staff on the prevalence and nature of domestic abuse.
According to research from the European Union, in Ireland, one in four women who are in a relationship have been abused by a current or former partner.
Commenting on the new initiative, Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, CEO of HABIC said the relationship between salon staff and customers is one that is developed over time and built on trust.
“From engagement with Women’s Aid, we understand that salon’s may be the only safe space for some women, away from an abusive behaviour,” Ms O’Rourke Doherty said.
“Over the coming period, we will focus on supporting our members and to give staff confidence and resources to know how to respond when someone does confide in them.
“With a largely female workforce, we also want to ensure our members feel supported at work and can access the necessary supports if they need to.
“We look forward to working with the team at Women’s Aid going forward to listen to women, support and believe them.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email firstname.lastname@example.org) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email email@example.com) for support and information.