Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (18:07:41) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. The action I seek is that she assist in funding this very innovative program called HaiR-3Rs, which is a program that helps reduce domestic violence in Victoria. This program is run for hairdressers, and the 3Rs stand for recognise, respond and refer. I think this is a wonderful program —
Mr Leane interjected.
Ms PATTEN — Yes, Mr Leane. I have some eastern envy because it is in Eastern Metropolitan Region. As we all know, the relationship with a hairdresser is quite different to a relationship with any other professional. There is a level of intimacy there —
Ms Bath interjected.
Ms PATTEN — That is right. They actually become genuine friends, so it is about using those relationships. This program, HaiR-3Rs, utilises those close relationships that we have to help prevent family violence in the community. If I need to note that Mr Leane has had a big part in this, I would certainly like to make mention of that.
They offer 2½-hour interactive workshops to hairdressers, run by trainers who train the hairdressers to know how to recognise, respond and refer. I contacted the program because I was so impressed with it. They told me that to date 150 salon professionals have taken the course, which helps them to identify those key signs of domestic violence. It informs those salon professionals about gender inequality as the main driver of family violence. It supports the professionals to understand gender stereotypes — I think it must be fantastic seeing this program run with hairdressers who possibly suffer from some gender stereotyping more than many of us — and it increases the capacity of salon professionals to support a client who may be experiencing family violence.
This I think is a wonderful program, so the action that I seek is that we provide some funding to expand this program out of Eastern Metropolitan Region and into the rest of the state.
As part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to the prevention of family violence and all forms of violence against women, the Eastern Domestic Violence Service was funded in 2017-18 to develop the HaiR project. The funding was provided through the government’s $3.85 million Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention grants program, which funded 34 primary prevention partnerships across Victoria.
Each project funded through the Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention program is currently preparing individual acquittals/evaluations. The outcomes from these will inform future project funding decisions about which programs to scale up, as part of the Andrew’s Labor Government Free From Violence primary prevention strategy and action plan.