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Hair & Beauty Professionals Against Domestic Abuse

1 in 4 women will experience abuse from a partner or ex-partner at some time in their life and 2 are killed each week. They may be our clients, colleagues – even family and friends.

Seeing the signs, offering a kind word and providing information on how to access professional support may change or save someone’s life.

Behind the Mask offers hair and beauty professionals’ like you, free access to online learning and resources. This may help you to spot the signs that someone is experiencing domestic abuse and guide on how to respond in the best way. It’s not about intervening or interfering, but knowing how you can truly help someone who may really need it.

What is domestic abuse?

The definition is broad and there are many variations of it.

Abuse may be psychological or emotional, physical, sexual, harassing, coercive or controlling behaviours. It may be one or many incidents. The domestic aspect is about that abuse having been caused by a partner, ex-partner or relative.

Using the term ‘Domestic Violence’ is less used now, as this implies that the harm is physical alone and seemingly excludes the broader range of abusive behaviours.

How would I know that someone may need help?

It’s not easy to spot given that abuse may be more than a physical injury or injuries that may or may not be visible. With some insight, our unique relationships with clients or colleagues may reveal what’s hidden behind their mask.

Why should I get involved?

Most women see a hairdresser and use the services of a beautician. Many clients go back to the same professional because of their great service, treatments and their loyal relationship. We are renowned for being experienced listeners and it’s no surprise that many people feel comfortable talking and confiding in us about things that they would never tell anyone else. We often feel like counsellors as people unburden themselves during their treatments though most of us are not professionally trained in this field! We’re being empathetic. We’re being human.

Our relationship puts us in a unique position to be able to notice signs of abuse and offer help. It may be the only opportunity someone has to be on their own whilst they are in our space where they may feel safe. We can give them a chance to reach out for help or we can suggest where help can be found, when they feel ready for it.

We are really well positioned to sensitively and safely refer clients or colleagues – even family or friends – to resources that are best placed to help them. It’s as simple as that and you can help to change or save someone’s life.

We know that there are some hair and beauty salons already doing this in the UK. This is fantastic and we want to build on this great practice that already exists in some areas.

I want to help. What can I do?

Therapists and Salon Owners

  • Take this awareness training. It asks for 22 minutes of your time every 2 years.

  • Become a champion. As a champion, you can get a little or a lot more involved by being proactive and telling others about this free and simple training opportunity. 

Hair and Beauty Trainers and Training Academies

  • Add this training to your hair and beauty courses.