Northamptonshire’s barbers help cut out domestic abuse
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An important campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse among hairdressers and beauty professionals has been adapted to continue online, with virtual events helping to keep its important messages alive.
The first session for barbers was recently held at RJB Barbers in Thrapston. The session was delivered by PCSO Nadia Noman and was extremely well received, with some in-depth discussions around male domestic abuse shared widely across social media platforms, with thousands of people engaging.
A video was played which features Alex Skeel talking about his experiences of domestic abuse. Alex's partner was the first woman to be jailed in the UK for controlling and coercive behaviour. This initiated a great deal of discussion and sharing of experiences.
Jonny Hedges, the owner of the salon said: “The session was informative and eye-opening. All of our staff felt it impacted the way they view the issue. It is extremely important people are made aware and educated about male domestic abuse to avoid the stigma surrounding it. We thought Nadia delivered a detailed and educational session that we would recommend to ensure everyone understands the different types of domestic abuse.”
The #CutItOut campaign was launched in November 2019 to offer hair and beauty professionals, who are perfectly placed to help victims, advice and guidance on how to spot the signs of abuse and how to refer people to get help.
It was intended as a 12-month, countywide roadshow of events but was paused because of the pandemic, but it has now been adapted for virtual delivery.
Chief Inspector Julie Mead, who is leading the campaign, said: “Many things have had to change during these strange and difficult times, but what hasn’t changed is the need to support those living with domestic abuse.
“We know this is now more of a risk than ever, so we have adapted our approach to the #CutItOut campaign in order to keep the key messages at the forefront of the beauty industry’s thinking and as always they don’t disappoint in their dedication to keeping their clients safe.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Glenn, Head of Northamptonshire Police’s Adult Safeguarding, said: “The messages this campaign seeks to promote have never been more important - this year has been an incredibly difficult one for many with stay at home and financial pressures placing additional stress on families.
“We have seen an increase of more than 10 per cent in reports of domestic abuse since the start of the pandemic.
“Hairdressers and therapists are in a unique position to help those who may be experiencing any type of abuse, reassure them and encourage them to take the first steps to getting safe.”
#CutItOut forms part of Northamptonshire Police’s wider strategy in tackling domestic abuse, one of the current Force priorities. It affects thousands of people in the county every year and the numbers have increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between April and September this year, the force recorded 7,607 domestic related incidents. This is an 11.4 per cent increase on the previous year.
During the summer period after the Covid lockdown (June – August), domestic related incidents were 14.3 per cent higher than last year, reflecting the national impact of the restrictions on domestic abuse victims. It should also be noted that nationally, charities have received significant growth in calls relating to domestic abuse.
If you are concerned about a friend, relative or colleague, or are suffering from domestic abuse, the following links offer guidance and advice:
To access a perpetrator programme, contact Respect – the national association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services.
In an emergency, victims of domestic abuse should call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.
In non-emergency cases and for general advice, please call 101. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.
You can also call the national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.