A new awareness initiative has been launched across Herefordshire to help professional’s spot signs of domestic abuse with their clients.

The Cut It Out initiative has been launched by the Herefordshire Community Safety Partnership.

The initiative aims to raise awareness around the devastating impact of domestic abuse and offers free training for all professionals who have a unique, one on one trusting relationship with its clients, such as hair and beauty professionals, physiotherapists, chiropractors, tattooists etc.

With one in four women and one in six men experiencing domestic abuse at some point in their life, the Cut It Out campaign was first launched in Norfolk following the murder of Kerri McAuley, who was killed in 2017 by her abusive partner.

Before her death, Kerri had disclosed to her hairdresser that she was the victim of abuse and reached out for support, but the seriousness wasn’t realised.

Everyone who takes part in the training will receive materials to display in their business windows or mirrors to show that it is a safe space.

They will also receive a pin badge which is a great way to start a conversation, it gives the opportunity to talk about the training they have completed and then offer support services if a client needs it.

Martin Lakeman, Domestic Abuse Consultant, said:

“Our aim is that as many professionals have the opportunity to come to a free session and learn about what domestic abuse is and what they can do to recognise the signs, and signpost support to those that may be suffering abuse.

“Because of the close proximity certain professionals have, they will see things other people might not notice, people are more likely to talk to someone they trust about abuse rather than report it to the police.

“A salon for example may be the ideal place to seek help as it could be one of the few places their abuser will allow them to go or go without them.”

Nick Preece, Curriculum Team Leader at Herefordshire College, said:

“Herefordshire College is delighted to be supporting this important initiative. This training will equip our students with the vital knowledge and awareness to support those suffering abuse when they leave the college and enter the workplace.”

Matt Pearce, Herefordshire Director of Public Health and chair of Herefordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership, said:

“We are happy to be a part of this initiative which we hope will make a real difference in the lives of those affected by domestic abuse, so that more survivors are identified and offered life-changing advocacy and support”

Councillor Carole Gandy, Cabinet member adults, health and wellbeing, said:

“I am delighted to support this initiative.  Victims of domestic abuse often are too frightened to formally report such incidents but may speak informally to a trusted professional who can sign post support”

To find out more about the upcoming Cut It Out event, please click on the link below to book and register your place.

Training takes place on:
Cut It Out – Raising Awareness of and Tackling Domestic Abuse Tickets, Tue 2 Apr 2024 at 10:00 | Eventbrite – Hereford Town Hall

Training will include information on:

  • What domestic abuse is and its impact on adults and children.
  • How to recognise the signs of domestic abuse in clients.
  • What to do if a client says they’re being abused.
  • How to have that difficult conversation and ask the question.
  • Which services you can signpost clients to who are victims of domestic abuse.