Three salons in Kings Norton have joined together to take a stand against domestic violence and to be a link for their clients who may be in need of help.
The idea began when Yvonne Jones of The Hair and Beauty Works in Monyhull Hall Road heard of a scheme in Norfolk where the council organised a domestic violence awareness conference for hairdressers and beauticians in the county.
The move came after the murder of 32 year old Kerri McAuley by her partner in 2017. Kerri had confided in her hairdresser before her death. It was recognised that that it may be beneficial for salon staff to have the tools and confidence to know what to do if they suspect a client is in trouble.
Yvonne was inspired to turn to one of her own clients, who works for Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA), for advice.
Staff are now aware of the signs to look out for and are equipped with literature and advice on signposting to organisations such as BSWA for help.
As well as advice literature, each salon will display signs to let clients know that staff are there for them if they need someone to talk to and that the salon is a safe place for those who may need to use a phone other than their own, for example.
Yvonne said: “I just found the story shocking – that we could be in that position with a client – and felt that we owe it to women out there to be knowledgeable enough to be able to help any ladies that enter our salons as clients.
“The training was a bit of an eye opener, and the statistics say 1 in 4 women are sufferers in some form. Hopefully clients will now know with the signs we will have that they can confide in us and get signposted to the right help.”
A spokeswoman for Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid said: “Domestic abuse is an issue that affects so many women and it isn’t always easy to find out where to go for help.
“The more members of the community who are aware of the issue and the risks it poses for women and children and then know about agencies such as BSWA, the more likelihood that women will find the support they need.”
Staff at the Kings Norton salons have donated toiletries to BSWA and will be organising further donations in the future
To find out more about BSWA, donate or access support, visit their website.