A recent newspaper article got me thinking about how many people within their professional life find themselves wondering about whether a colleague or client is, in fact, in an abusive relationship? What if someone actually disclosed this and needed support or help? How many would know what to do ‘for the best’?
A whole range of emotions could be triggered including shock, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, trepidation, anxiety, worry or some may feel motivated to take action. Thoughts may include “What do I say?” “Did I hear that right?” “Could I make it worse by saying the wrong thing?” “What am I supposed to do with that?” “They’ve trusted me with that so what do I do next?”
The article I read was about the tragic death of a young woman who confided in her hairdresser about her partner’s aggressive and violent behaviour and threats to hurt her. Many of us develop trusting relationships with our hairdresser, barber, beautician, nail technician, often over several years; discussing families and relationships as well as the everyday chit-chat.
Research demonstrates that many people in unhealthy, and abusive, relationships will indirectly reach out to several people before someone recognises the invitation to help....but it’s a big ask if it isn’t something you know about.
I decided to offer a free information evening to the local hair and beauty professionals and will be running the event tomorrow night: I’m delighted that many have confirmed they are planning to come to help them feel more empowered to both recognise and respond appropriately. How many more people, professions and customer-facing businesses could benefit from knowing more; keeping themselves and others safe?
Watch this space for a follow-up!