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8 July 2021, 10:25 | Updated: 8 July 2021, 10:29
Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can soon get training to spot the signs of domestic abuse.
Hairdressers and beauty therapists will be taught how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse under a new scheme.
The programme, which was first launched in the US, trains those working in the beauty industry to look out for subtle indications of violence or abuse.
It also teaches hairdressers how to open up a conversation around keeping safe and the potential next steps for an alleged victim.
The scheme is set to launch in the UK and Ireland later this year, with over 25,000 hairdressers from around the world having already been trained.
Those who want to pass the course must complete a number of 20 minute sessions online before taking a test and receiving a certificate.
Salon owner and domestic abuse survivor Susanne Post started the concept - called Shear Haven - and worked alongside an accredited industry body.
Hairdressers, beauticians, consultants and anyone who works in customer-facing roles can apply to take part.
In a statement, the brand said: “Salon stylists and therapists and spa professionals have a unique relationship with their clients.
“The women and men behind the chair are in the perfect position to hear about and see the signs of domestic violence.”
This comes after it was revealed that domestic abuse rates have increased dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Office for National Statistics, police in the UK recorded 259,324 domestic abuse offences between March and June 202, which is seven per cent more than the previous year.
Lisa King, Refuge director of communications and external relations said in March: “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.”