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Revealed: the organisations educating Irish beauty pros about domestic abuse

By Rebecca Hitchon | 17 November 2021 | Movers & Shakers, News

domestic violence beauty industry

According to EU research, one in four women in a relationship in Ireland have been abused by a current or former partner.

To help hair and beauty pros recognise signs of domestic abuse and action appropriately, a campaign by Women’s Aid and the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (HABIC) has launched. It will help to raise awareness among salon clients and hair and beauty employees on the prevalence and nature of domestic abuse, along with available support services, and is being rolled out to more than 2500 hair and beauty salons across the country.

“Hair and beauty businesses in local communities across the country can play a crucial role in raising awareness among those who may need support, including staff and clients,” says Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid. “When someone discloses that they are experiencing abuse, it can be difficult to know what to do. Our campaign provides helpful resources in order to recognise abuse and respond in a supportive way.”

HABIC member salons will receive packs containing resource materials designed to support and educate, including posters outlining the common signs of domestic abuse, stickers to display on mirrors with QR codes directing clients to Women Aid’s 24-hour national freephone helpline and website, and information for display in staff areas to support salon employees that may be abuse victims.

habic womens aid

Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, CEO of HABIC & Linda Smith, Women’s Aid 24hr national freephone helpline manager

Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, CEO of HABIC, comments:

“We understand that salons may be the only safe space for some women, away from abusive behaviour.

“We will focus on supporting our members to give staff confidence and resources to know how to respond when someone confides in them. With a largely female workforce, we also want to ensure our members feel supported at work and can access the necessary support if they need to.”

The Women’s Aid and HABIC partnership comes as YSL Beauty expands its effort to educate the public about the warning signs of intimate partner violence (IPV).

Nearly one in three women worldwide experience IPV and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime and YSL Beauty, by Yves Saint Laurent, launched its Abuse Is Not Love programme in 2020, which has educated over 100,000 young people about abusive relationships and where support can be found. Its aim is to train two million people globally by 2030.

The brand is now expanding the programme’s reach to include partnerships with non-profit organisations in 14 additional countries, compared with its three original partnerships with organisations in the UK, USA and France. These partnerships are focused on offering education sessions about the key signs of abuse and how to intervene when a loved one is in an abusive relationship.

YSL Beauty is also launching an online training tool in the future, its website, to provide resources and support for those in abusive relationships and tools for allies, as well as an educational campaign which will include a video series about the nine signs of abuse.

“We firmly believe in supporting women’s freedom and independence. In learning about the pervasive nature of IPV and about how the signs of abuse are often hidden in plain sight, our brand is more motivated than ever to continue the programme’s expansion, supporting non-profit organisations worldwide,” comments Stephan Bezy, international general manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauty.