A UK-based charity supporting survivors of domestic abuse has launched Be.You.ty, a campaign to help abused women back into work.
Elle For Elle, a Manchester organisation which provides cosmetics, bodycare, haircare and sanitary products to women staying in refuges, has donated £150,000 (€164,110.98) worth of products to 7,000 women in refuges across the UK since its inception in December 2017. The charity has now launched the Be.You.ty campaign, which aims to provide beauty training to help women in refuges to find work or start their own business.
Elle For Elle co-founder Rachel O’Hare said: “It costs as little as £200 for a person to do the course and get insurance to start working in their chosen skill. They can go straight into a salon, set up their own mobile business or go into further education with this kick start. It’s also great for self esteem and [gives survivors] a positive focus.”
Around 1.3 million women between the ages of 16 and 59 and 695,000 men experienced domestic abuse in the UK in the last year. The UK holds 305 women’s refuges, each housing on average 12 residents. Elle For Elle reports that 100% of women who enter refuges are in debt: financial abuse and control is not uncommon in abusive relationships; and many women who escape to refuges have small children, making finding a job more complicated.
Co-founder Lynette Page-Collin said: “We believe that our Be.You.ty campaign is a positive step to help get them out of debt and into a home with a secure future for their families. It’s crucial to our work going forwards. We’d like to appeal to anyone who can help to donate towards the campaign to get in touch – it’s hugely important we get this initiative started without delay. Beauty is therapy – helping women and girls to rise through education in beauty.”
On 13 September, Elle For Elle will host its annual charity ball at Emirates Old Trafford, featuring performances from acid jazz funk veterans the Brand New Heavies.