The role of the hairdresser as a friend, confidant and often quasi-therapist to clients is well known, with a significant bond that has paved the way for progress in helping victim survivors of family violence. In this endeavour, a new website has launches that will offer salon professionals across Australia access to critical training and resources that can help them to help clients who may be experiencing this abuse, under the title HaiR-3Rs – AKA recognise, respond and refer.

The organisation behind HaiR-3Rs, Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS), has been facilitating family violence training in Victoria for three years, with this new online addition extending this education further and opening this access up to hairdressers across the country. This education is especially critical during the pandemic, where these problems can worsen even further.

“Lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions have made it increasingly difficult for victim survivors of violence to seek help,” said EDVOS Chief Executive Officer Christine Mathieson. “With HaiR-3Rs, we are helping make salons safe spaces where women experiencing violence can receive an empathetic response, and be passed information about support services. Rather than turning salon workers into counsellors, we are inviting them to play a role in the early intervention and prevention of violence.”

The HaiR-3Rs program was created in 2018 to give salon professionals the skills to safely guide people experiencing family violence to professional help and support, building on a relationship that often sees hair and beauty professionals as the first to hear of or notice signs of violence. The online program will be delivered as a live three-hour training session, which will teach salon professionals to recognise these signs, responds to disclosures of violence and refer clients on to specialist services. This education is imperative and can prove life saving.

“Training completely changed my life and was an eye-opener for me. It changed the way I think about family violence, and how I approach clients needing help. HaiR-3Rs is at the forefront of the movement for better, safer lives for women in Australia, and I encourage every salon professional to become part of that future,” said Adrian Panayiotis, owner of Delilah Hair Studio and HaiR-3Rs ambassador.

The website allows anyone in Australia working in hair, beauty and personal care services to book into a HaiR-3Rs training session and delivers resources to support these professionals post-training. It also has information on specialist services and a directory on where victim survivors can find their local HaiR-3Rs trained salon.

This essential education program is supported by key industry bodies including the Australian Hairdressing Council and the ARA Hair and Beauty and Hair Stylists Australia.

It’s never been more accessible to help your clients in their time of need and use your salon super powers for the utmost good. Book in a session now and be the difference.

For more information visit www.hair3rs.org.au