Domestic violence Cut It Out

Gearing up for launch of the Cut It Out project are (clockwise from front centre) Winks hairdressing salon owner Jo Winkler and staff members Samantha Sainsbury, Kara Wykes, Ali Winkler and Sally Griffiths with Lismore & District Womens Health Centre manager Karuna Fielden, Cut It Out co-ordinator Cindy Thummel and project team member Rose Roberts.

Chatting to your favourite hairdresser about the joys and frustrations of life whilst getting a new do is something lots of women can relate to, but often hairdressers get more than they bargained for.

According to Cindy Thummel from the Lismore & District Womens Health Centre, hairdressers are often on the frontline when it comes to domestic violence.

Sometimes a hairdresser will see clumps of hair missing or bruises on a client, or witness controlling and abusive behaviour from a partner, Cindy said. Someone said to me that hairdressers are counsellors with scissors, but theyve never had any training to cope with that kind of information.

To coincide with an International Womens Day celebration on March 6, the Womens Health Centre will launch a pilot project called Cut It Out to train hairdressers in Lismore and Nimbin how to recognise signs of domestic abuse and respond appropriately when women tell their story. Salons that take part will also be given wallet-sized cards with information on where women can get help, which hairdressers can give to their clients.

Its important hairdressers know how to handle these situations so they can go home and function and live their own life, and not continually worry about their clients, who they often have a close connection with, Cindy said. Its a practical way to help reduce domestic violence in our community.

Cut It Out has been funded by a grant from Lismore Council. Donations and more sponsors are being sought.

For information phone the Lismore & District Womens Health Centre on 6621 9800.


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