The relationship between a client and their hairdresser is built on trust and for some people the salon could be the only safe space in their lives.
Clients come in, they take a seat, vent, cry, laugh and share some of their most personal and intimate details. Going to the hairdressers gives many people an opportunity to open up to someone they trust and who they know are listening.
Hairdressers are valuable members of the community who develop meaningful relationship with their clients. Many clients go back to the same professional because of their great service, treatments and loyal relationship. Their relationship puts them in an unique position to be able to notice signs of abuse and offer help.
Kerri McAuley, a young mother of two, who was murdered in her own home in Norwich by her ex-boyfriend in 2017. Just weeks before Kerri was killed, she confided in her hairdresser about her abusive ex-partner.
Every bone in her face was broken in the attack.
Just weeks before Kerri was killed, she went to see her hairdresser Annie Reilly.
She confided in her about her abusive ex-boyfriend. It’s an appointment Annie will never forget.
“I think back to it now, and I think the words were: ‘He’s going to kill me.’ I didn’t know what to do with those words, was it a figure of speech, that sort of thing like: ‘Oh, if I don’t do this he’s going to kill me.’ It’s said so randomly by people, but in fact she actually meant it.”
I’m delighted to announce that FAB and SODA will be collaborating with each other, with SODA taking up residency in the salon offering instant support. An appointment away from the home may be one of the few opportunities a victim has to seek help. By providing a listening ear and encouraging someone to seek support from SODA, could make a real difference. Hairdressers, beauticians and nail technicians could be the only person a client speaks to or they might be the only person who can see visible marks of domestic abuse.
FAB can provide a safe, a neutral place for victims to voice their fears, worries and emotions, and the support SODA provides is confidential and non-judgmental.
Here’s a statement from FAB owner and tutor, Sarah Alicia Jane Wood