Eliminate domestic violence through an awareness campaign


SODA Founder Sam Billingham with, left to right: City Ambassador Ellie Hunt, Downtown Director Vicky Rogers and Co-Owner Rhianna Hinton, at Elle Rhi, Halesowen

Mother-of-one Samantha Billingham of Quarry Bank has teamed up with downtown Halesowen champion Vicky Rogers to promote the Cut It Out campaign.

Ultimately, the 41-year-old hopes to deploy the roster in the Midlands.

Samantha said: “We hope to raise awareness about Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence Survivors (SODA) help victims and indicate where they can seek help.

“I created SODA in 2009 and I organized the visit of about fifteen locals with the help of the Halesowen Business Improvement District.

“The training takes place over one day and we hope to explain how people involved in the beauty industry can recognize the warning signs and how to respond and enable them to safely report victims to places such as Black Country. Women’s Aid or men’s services or the police.

“Since the pandemic, we have seen an increase in calls in the borough of Dudley.

“Now, as the lockdown is slowly lifted, it is important that we put this vital campaign in place as it will help every step of a victim’s journey.

“It’s as easy as believing, responding and directing clients to specialized services.

“Although we are running a pilot project in Halesowen town center, if it proves successful we hope to roll it out in the Midlands.

The Cut It Out campaign was originally started by Northamptonshire Police when a young woman told her hairdresser she was a victim of domestic violence, but soon after her abusive partner stabbed her to death.

“The objective of the campaign is to enable hairdressers, barbers and beauty professionals to be able to identify the warning signs of domestic violence in their clients and to be able to refer them safely to specialized services. . “

Vicky Rogers, 42, of Halesowen BID, said: “We have partnered with SODA to launch the Cut It Out campaign and we will be visiting personal care companies, beauticians and tattoo artists to spread the message that they could be informed or spotted the signs of domestic violence. “


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