Tamworth hairdressers helping cut out domestic violence

TAKING A STAND: Runway owner Chantel Quinn jumped at the chance to attend a session arming local hairdressers with skills to help clients experiencing domestic violence. Photo: Peter Hardin 120517PHC022
TAKING A STAND: Runway owner Chantel Quinn jumped at the chance to attend a session arming local hairdressers with skills to help clients experiencing domestic violence. Photo: Peter Hardin 120517PHC022

SOON there will be a new cutting edge in the city’s effort to stamp out domestic violence, getting more victims to the help they need.

A new initiative will be arming local hairdressers and beauty therapists with the know-how to point their clients to services for help with domestic violence.

It’s the brainchild of Tamworth Family Support Service (TFSS) who will be running an information session for the city’s stylists and beauticians at Wests Leagues Club next week.

Chantel Quinn, owner of Peel St salon, Runway, jumped at the chance to get involved in the program.

“This is something, whether you’ve been effected by it or not, that would be close to your heart as a woman,” Ms Quinn told The Leader.

The salon owner said the information session would bring “awareness, knowledge and confidence” to her young team.

“We get a lot of time alone with our clients and I know personally my girls aren’t equipped with the right information,” she said.

“We would be empathetic, because that’s what we do naturally.

“Because we’re not armed with the right information as to what to do. Do you call the police, what do you do? Do you just talk them through it?”

“It will give us a little bit of structure and knowledge as to what is available.”

With a large number of competing salons in Tamworth, Ms Quinn believed this would be a cause to bring the industry together.

“Hairdressers in Tamworth are fantastic, we have worked together on other campaigns,” she said.

“We joined forces with a few of them last year for a breast cancer campaign.

“Hairdressers are very strong women so they’ll have a bit of power and ‘superwoman’ behind them with this kind of information I think.”

TFSS domestic violence support worker Tanya Rogers said a similar had been run with great success in the United Kingdom.

NEW FRONTLINE: Domestic violence support worker Tanya Rogers. Photo: Gareth Gardner

NEW FRONTLINE: Domestic violence support worker Tanya Rogers. Photo: Gareth Gardner

“The interest seems to be up there, hopefully we get at least one person from half of the salons in Tamworth,” Ms Rogers said.

The support-worker used to be a hairdresser herself years ago and knows clients can share intimate details while they’re in the chair, so it made sense to arm workers with information to help.

“We want the community to be comfortable talking about this issue regardless of the environment,” Ms Rogers said.

“We’ll be breaking it right down, so they know how to have that difficult conversation and when the time is right.”

The TFSS information session will be held at Wests Leagues Club on Tuesday, May 23 from 5.30pm.

Anyone interested in attending needs to RSVP with TFSS by Monday, May 22.