© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Domestic violence case coordinator Lydia Quinn helps promote the Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign by making a special visit to the Changes Hair School on Wednesday. Quinn, along with Const. Tom Wood of the Amherst Police, presented the hairdressers with different way to help their clients who may be living in an abusive relationship
AMHERST – It should be easy to talk about, just like what your having for dinner. Const. Tom Wood and domestic violence case coordinator Lydia Quinn were at the Changes Hair School on Wednesday to pass along the message: domestic violence needs to be talked about.
Quinn and Wood presented the hairdressers with different ways to help women they see on a daily basis who may be experiencing abuse at home. Quinn said it’s time for domestic violence to be talked about more instead of being ignored.
“Research has shown that hairdresser often experience with women who disclose (their abuse). The (hairdressers) may not have the knowledge or the resources to be able to talk to these women or men,” said Quinn. “It’s an education campaign to give communities a knowledge of resources in their own communities.”
Wood said the campaign doesn’t stop at hairdressers. The information delivered to the hairdressers should be taught to everyone.
“It’s neighbours, everyone,” said Wood. “We’ll get calls for domestic violence, and it’ll be the first call that we get. But, when we get there, there are a lot of people that will say they’ve heard shouting and fights from the house. So it wasn’t a first time incident.”
Wood said both Amherst Police and Cumberland RCMP receive a lot of calls about domestic violence.
“It’s one of the more common calls that we do get,” he said.
Quinn and Wood covered different ways for the hairdressers to help their clients if they suspect they are being abused. They discussed the different warning signs to determine if someone may be being abused, such as constant text messages from their spouse wondering where they are, and ways to be able to talk to them or the abuser.
Owner Brenda Chapman thought it was important for her and her students to learn way to help clients who may be dealing with abuse at home.
“I thought it was important for them to listen to,” said Chapman. “We do get to talk to our clients and they build a trust with us. We do hear their personal things in life. I train (the students) to shut it off because we’re not supposed to personalize but people do talk about themselves, especially when they’re in an abusive relationship, they poor out.”
Chapman also said sometimes, some of her own students may be facing some form of abuse in their own lives and need to hear some of the ways they can get help.
“We’re hairdressers and we want to fix things so sometimes, we end up in those kinds of relationships ourselves,” she said. “It’s the same thing, I would think, with nurses. Nurses want to help.”
She said she hopes her students new recognize the warning signs and wont hesitate to help someone who made need assistance to get out of an abusive relationship.
For more information or ways to help someone you think may be in an abusive relationship, call the Transition House in Amherst at 667-1344 or visit www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca.