Cardiff fitness trainers to help tackle domestic violence 

Cardiff Council will enlist the help of gym and fitness trainers to help fight domestic violence in the city.

Over 200 businesses in the fitness sector, will help tackle domestic violence in Cardiff.

Gym and fitness trainers across Cardiff are set to play a key role in tackling violence and domestic abuse against women.

Almost 200 boxing gyms, yoga and pilates studios across Cardiff will receive information and resources that will help them get victims of abuse in contact with support providers.

“The campaign is about trying to engage men in denouncing violence against women,” says Councillor Lynda Thorne. “I think women are clearly opposed to it, but trying to get men to speak out, and people taking notice of their peers is a better way of doing it.”

This is the second group of professionals being enlisted to help tackle domestic violence under the Campaign. The first being hair and beauty professionals who were trained last year.

“We were really pleased with the success of the information campaign we rolled out across hair and beauty businesses last year, having recognised the key role professionals in that sector can play in tackling the problem,” says Councillor Thorne.

“We are training hairdressers because that’s where sometimes women go and they start to talk about what’s going on in their lives. It means that hairdressers are then in a position to actually direct victims to a place where they can get help”

Councillor Lynda Thorne believes it is important for men to recognise and confront violent behaviour in their peers.

She says, “We feel that gyms and fitness clubs across the region can help in the same way and by providing resources, we are equipping people who work in these settings with what they need to direct and encourage clients to access help and support.”

The businesses on board will receive resource packs including links from schemes like Welsh Women’s Aid’s ‘Ask Me Ambassador’, FOR Cardiff’s ‘Safe Places’ scheme and free Welsh Government training online that can help people spot the signs of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

“I don’t think it’s about actually hairdressers or fitness individuals having the confidence or the ability to actually talk through the issues,” says Councillor Thorne. “It is about persuading those individuals to get help and to be able to direct them to where that help is.”

“They will be trained if they wanna take part to know where to refer people. So we are not expecting them to support or help that individual, it’s really about just trying to say, you should go forward, you should do something, why don’t you contact this organization and this is how you contact them.”

This scheme is a part of a broader city-wide drive to increase awareness about domestic abuse and sexual violence and available support under which buses across the region are carrying advertisements for a helpline.