Luscious locks are set to be chopped as staff at Canberra’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) volunteer to shave their heads to raise vital money for the organisation.
The service’s team will be making the generous gesture honouring those people who contact the DVCS, people they refer to as the ‘Brave’.
DVCS champion Sue Webeck knows what that means: she put her hand up to shave her head and was approached this week while having coffee by a cafe staff member, in tears. She’d seen the discussions taking place across Canberra’s media about Shave for the Brave and wanted Sue to know that DVCS had saved her when she needed support.
But more than that, the coverage of domestic and family violence had finally given her the courage, several years later, to tell family and friends what had actually happened in her relationship.
Shave for the Brave event will take place in Garema Place on Monday 15 March, and the 18 participants who have volunteered to take part include DVCS frontline staff members Bogda, Claire, and Inez with interim General Manager Glenda Stevens and board member Victor Martin. The event will be broadcast live by Kristen and Nige on Mix 106.3.
Ms Stevens said she was volunteering to do the shave in honour of the service’s clients.
“It’s actually not that brave compared to the people who are experiencing domestic violence who come forward to get help to change their lives. I’m doing this to highlight their bravery.
“It is really rewarding when you see people take steps to get their life back,” Ms Stevens said.
Domestic Violence Crisis Service supports all people impacted by domestic and family violence, including people who use violence and are seeking to change their behaviour. The service is available 24 hours a day for intervention, safety planning, emergency accommodation, legal advocacy, support groups, case management, awareness and training.
“We found domestic and family violence increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and the people who were experiencing violence experienced it more often and it was more severe,” said Ms Stevens.
“There were a lot of anonymous callers to our crisis line. We know many anonymous callers are often first-time callers. Most people will know somebody who has experienced domestic or family violence, and this is an opportunity to think about what they’ve been through and support people in that situation.
“There’s still a lot of shame associated with it – people don’t want to talk about it. But anyone can call us – you don’t have to give us your name, we’re available to anyone in the community, including people who use violence and who want to stop using that violence. Most of our services are free,” she said.
The hairdresser performing the shave, Bombshell Hair Studio’s Gina Commisso, will keep the shaved hair and send it to be used to clean up oil spills, using a methodology developed by the University of Technology Sydney.
The University of Technology Sydney conducted a project that found a combination of dog fur and human hair – recycled from salon wastes and dog groomers – can be just as good as synthetic fabrics at cleaning up crude oil spills on hard land surfaces like highway roads, pavement, and sealed concrete floors.
The DVCS team is hoping to raise up to $3,000 to support the activities of the service which supports more than 4300 clients every year. The overall goal of the event, with all the participants and donations made during the shave, is to raise $40,000.
A $10 donation can pay for dinner and breakfast for one person in emergency accommodation, $30 can provide mobile phone credit for a person without a means of communication, $50 can supply a grocery voucher to a person staying in emergency accommodation for longer than one night and $220 will pay for one night of safe accommodation for an adult and child, with food, toiletries, colouring-in books and a change of underwear.
If you would like to support the Domestic Violence Crisis Service Shave for the Brave, head to Garema Place at 6:00 am to 9:00 am on Monday 15 March to watch the shave take place and make a donation, or donate online