Manchester City Council

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Manchester students to say Cut it Out to domestic abuse

A trial scheme is set to be launched in Manchester giving trainee hairdressers advice on what to do if they believe a person is suffering from domestic abuse.

Following on from a successful trial of a similar scheme in Rochdale, from October 14 students at Manchester College’s Harpurhey Campus will become the first cohort to take part in the Cut It Out campaign.

The signs of someone suffering at the hands of domestic abuse do not always have to be bruises or cuts. It can be small actions such as speaking about a partner’s jealousy or perhaps their controlling behaviour.

The Cut It Out campaign will teach trainee hairdressers and barbers how to recognise the signs of abuse and how to support a victim on how to get help.

Manchester City Council is working as part of the Community Safety Partnership with Talk Listen Change, The IRIS Project, Women’s Aid and Independent Choices to implement this trial. If it is a success at the Harpurhey Campus there are plans to roll it out to other further education institutions in Manchester. 

Last year in Manchester the police dealt with more than 13,000 incidents of domestic violence. Many of these incidents involved households with children. Research tells us that only half of all acts of domestic violence are reported to the police.

The decision  to use hairdressers as the bridge between abuse and support was based on the close relationships that can be made in a salon. A client’s trusting relationship with their stylist can break down the fear of disclosing they are a victim of abuse. 

Last year, police in Manchester dealt with over 13,000 incidents of domestic violence. Many of these incidents involved households with children. What we know from research is that only around half of the incidents are reported to the police.

If you are affected by domestic abuse or are worried that someone you know is, please contact the Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0161 636 7525

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council and chair of the Manchester Domestic Violence and Abuse forum, said: “Every year thousands of men and women suffer at the hands of abusive partners, often being too scared for their own safety or the safety of their children to speak out.

“For many an appointment at the salon or barbers could be a welcome reprieve from  life at home. By supporting this project we are working to ensure that these places remain a safe space, acting as a gateway for a victim of abuse to get the help they need.”  

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