Shear Haven, a domestic abuse training programme created in America, will soon make its move over to the UK, where hairdressers and beauty therapists across the country will be trained in both spotting signs of domestic abuseas well as providing victim support.
What is Shear Haven?
Susanne Post, a Tennessee native, hairdresser and domestic abuse survivor, initially launched the Shear Haven in 2017 with the help of the WYCA - an accredited industry body. The scheme helps train customer-facing beauty staff to recognise the signs of domestic abuse, navigate conversations with potential victims and even recommend resources and tools to help them get to safety.
The training programme consists of multiple 20-minute online sessions, which culminate in a test. If the professional passes the course, they then receive a certificate.
Since its launch, 25,000 hairdressers and beauty therapists worldwide have taken part in Shear Haven, with the scheme set to launch in the UK and Ireland later this year.
COVID has brought an increase in domestic abuse cases
In November 2020, The Centre For Women’s Justicerevealed there had been a 49% rise in calls to domestic abuse hotlines during the pandemic. The organisation also detailed there were roughly 380 calls to police per week and 16 homicide cases, all linked to domestic violence in the first month of lockdown alone. The figures reached their highest in 11 years, with experts predicting they could have been even higher due to victims failing to report incidents out of fear.
Lisa King, Refuge director of communications and external relations, said in March this year:
For women and children experiencing domestic abuse, home is not a safe place. Lockdown measures, where women have been isolated and confined with their perpetrators more than ever before, have compounded their exposure to violence and abuse.
The Centre For Women’s Justice explained that the insecurities and threats of lockdown on financial, health, employment and living situations all could have sparked anger, stress and ultimately violence within UK families.
Restrictions imposed by lockdowns also meant many domestic abuse victims went with limited or no access to support systems that could help assure their safety.
How to seek help for domestic abuse
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, you may find it risky to seek help, but remember there are resources and people ready to assure your safety.
UK hotlines for DA include:
England - National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Wales - Live Fear Free: 0808 8010 800
Scotland - Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234
Northern Ireland - Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline: 0808 802 1414
UK wide - Men’s Advice Line (for male DA victims): 0808 801 0327
Ireland - Safe Ireland: 1800 341 900
If you are suffering from domestic abuse or violence, you can also seek help through the codeword scheme Ask ANI standing for ‘Action Needed Immediately.’ If you immediately need help, participating pharmacies with an Ask ANI logo will be ready to provide a safe space, a phone and will help you seek police or domestic abuse services.
Bright Sky is an app designed for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or concerned for a loved one. The app is free from all app stores, but you should ensure it is safe for you to download before doing so and that your phone isn’t being monitored.