By Derek Schlennstedt
An increase in this year’s sexual offences statistics for the Yarra Ranges has prompted the Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS) to call on salon professionals to help respond to the increase.
Salon professionals in the Healesville and Eastern Metropolitan region are being offered voluntary training and resources to help them safely recognise the signs of family violence and refer women who need support.
EDVOS has developed the HaiR-3R’s (Recognise, Respond and Refer) program – an innovative new approach that provides early intervention, specifically for salon professionals, to support women who may be facing violence or controlling behaviour at home.
EDVOS Executive director, Jenny Jackson, said that for this year, the program has trained 150 hairdressers and salon professionals.
“We’ve trained approximately 150 hairdressers and salon professional this year and the feedback is overwhelming and really positive,” she said.
“The HaiR-3R’s program provides salon professionals with the knowledge, skills and expertise to engage in conversations that challenge gender stereotypes.
“It will enable them to share experiences and recognise the sometimes-subtle signs of family violence.”
Ms Jackson said that the program focuses on salon profession specifically as ‘women establish relationships and confide in their salon professionals’.
Though, Ms Jackson said it was important to note that they weren’t being trained to become councillors but rather being given the skills to identify and provide support, often by referral.
EDVOS is collaborating with national and local providers including Box Hill TAFE, Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC) and Hair & Beauty Industry Association (HBIA) in delivering the HaiR-3R’s project to salon professionals in Melbourne’s eastern metropolitan region.
The free training workshops are open to all salon professionals and salons and in the Healesville area – please contact Mandy Hudson on firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 9259 4282 for more information.