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12TH MAR 2024

Cut It Out: Hairdressing and Beauty Students Trained to Support Victims of Domestic Abuse in Forest of Dean

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GDASS Training
GDASS Training

Last month we were proud to work with Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) and Forest of Dean District Council to provide our future hairdressers and beauticians with training to respond to and support clients who disclose that they are victims of domestic abuse. 

The training forms part of the Cut It Out campaign, which was launched in 2017 following the death of Kerri McAuley who was killed by her abusive partner in 2017. Kerri had disclosed to her hairdresser that she was a victim of abuse, however the seriousness of her comments was not realised at the time. 

Hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists work closely with their clients, often being seen as someone trusted to confide in or talk to. 

With funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire (OPCC), Forest of Dean District Council has been supporting GDASS to deliver training to students at GC, enabling them to spot signs of domestic violence and abuse, and giving them the knowledge and confidence to support clients.  

Level 2 Beauty Therapy students who took part in the training were overwhelmingly positive about the opportunity to learn more: 

“We thought that it was a very good point to share and gain more knowledge about what we as therapists could do to help and acknowledge signs of domestic abuse, and how to ask clients if we are suspicious that they are going through domestic abuse, without being too forward about it.  

We all feel better knowing how we, as therapists, can do more for our clients and their safety outside of the salon.  

We all like the badges, and wearing them, we feel like we are able to show our clients that we can show our support towards the topic.  

It was a very eye-opening experience, and we are very grateful to know that if we ever do get a client who is brave enough to open up to us, we know where to refer them so that they can get help and support.” 

The team delivering the training were also pleased to see such a positive response to the training. A spokesperson from GDASS said: “The students were a credit to the college, and it was great to see how well they engaged with the session. 

 “It was clear from their responses that they had really taken on board the learning about domestic abuse, and especially encouraging to see how insightful they were about the effects of domestic abuse on victims.  

 “The students will all be fantastic ambassadors for the campaign and will, we know, play a very significant role in ensuring domestic abuse victims in the Forest of Dean get the help they so desperately need.” 

 Cabinet Member for Thriving Communities, Cllr Jackie Dale said: “The Cut It Out campaign is a fantastic initiative and one that truly has the power to save lives.   

“I’m so proud that Forest of Dean District Council are at the forefront of tackling domestic abuse. Working with partners, this training will help to cut out domestic abuse and change lives for the better.” 

Chair of Forest of Dean District Council and Chair of the Forest of Dean Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Group, Cllr Di Martin says: 

“I am very proud that Forest of Dean District Council are leading this campaign in Gloucestershire.   

“Partners will work together with the College to ensure that those studying hair and beauty are able to spot the signs of domestic abuse in clients. It will also give those students valuable skills in supporting someone in crisis and will potentially save lives.  

 “After this initial launch, there will be further training sessions delivered in the community for hairdressers, barbers, tattooists and beauty therapists and that dates will be released soon. We would encourage those working in these professions to attend.”  

More information about GDASS can be found by visiting www.gdass.org.uk 

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