"City of Swan staff identified a need for specific training for hairdressers and beauty professionals through conversations with these professionals working in Midland, who explained they had regular interactions with women experiencing family and domestic violence and although they assisted clients where possible – these professionals did desire training to assist them in having these conversations. In response to this need, the City of Swan approached the Swan Family and Domestic Violence network and Lifeline WA to develop a specific training evening for Hairdressing and Beauty Industry professionals to help them to recognise, respond and refer women experiencing domestic violence.
The training event was hosted at Midland Women's Heath Care Place in Midland, between 5.30-8.30pm on Monday 17th May 2021. The session was booked out, with 22 participants attending the DV-Aware session presented by Lifeline WA (funded by the Department of Social Services), followed by an expert panel Q&A session consisting of Swan Family and Domestic Violence network members including WAPOL Midland Family Domestic Violence Unit, Relationships Australia, Koolkunna, Midland Women’s Health Care Place and Midlas.
The Lifeline WA DV-Aware training gave participants an understanding of the process of recognising, responding and referring those who disclose family and domestic violence situations. This gave participants confidence on how to begin conversations and safely speak about this sensitive topic with those community members.
With this knowledge base the Expert Panel Q&A offered specific information on local services and referral pathways, this created diverse discussion and answered some of the gritty questions the attendees had.
Overall participants learnt how to respond and refer those experiencing FDV as well as specific support available in the City of Swan area. The cost of the session was only the catering as all other training, panel member time and venue were all generously volunteered. This shows that any local government can undertake a similar training as cost is not a barrier and the feedback and value is endless.
We have already bee advised by participants within the same week of receiving the training, that they have used the information acquired on the evening to speak to clients and on-refer them to supports and services.
This training has definitely caught the interest of community as we were also approached by Masters of Commendations students to document the evening, we did this in a extremely sensitive way due to privacy considerations. The students we using this for their final assignment and will be sharing this with us shortly. We have also had this training reported on in the West and our local newspaper.
This is not the end for this project with all stakeholder keen to host further sessions in the second half of 2021 with new groups who will benefit from this knowledge – watch this space!"