An employer has highlighted the importance of raising awareness of domestic abuse, after one of their workers was attacked and shot by her partner.
The unnamed employer claims that Rachel Court worked for her as a Junior Hairstylist over ten years ago, explaining how she witnessed domestic abuse affect the professional lives of those around her – The Metro reports.
Court published the letter on Facebook in order to inform businesses, employers and colleagues of the often silent dangers of marital abuse – describing how it can wreak unprecedented damage.
The employer details how Court’s partner Darren Williams “controlled her working life” to the point that she was not “allowed” to work with heterosexual colleagues or lesbians. She was also not allowed to colour her hair or change the style of it, under William’s strict orders.
The drama came to a head when Williams entered the salon one day and shot Court, before committing suicide later. Court did not die from her injuries; however, her son Jack later killed himself.
The open letter is meant as a warning to employers and staff to spot the sign of domestic abuse at work before it’s too late.
The full letter can be read below.
I employed Mrs Rachel Court, then known as Haywood, as a Junior Hairstylist at my salon from June 1999 until Easter 2002.
Although I was always very pleased with Rachel’s standard of work her employment didn’t come without problems.
Her partner Darren Williams controlled her working life.
For example, we all lead him to believe that our male trainee was gay. This was because Rachel was not allowed to work with heterosexual males, she was also not allowed to cut the hair of men or lesbians.
Darren’s demeanour was intimidating and we were all afraid of him ‘kicking off’, he would make surprise visits to the salon and check our appointment book to try to catch her out.
I remember one particular day when Rachel was the only stylist available to cut a gent’s hair and I had to order all my trainees to circle around her and the client to block any view from the street whilst she cut his hair. The fear of her getting caught was tangible and the whole salon was on pins.
Furthermore Rachel was also only allowed her hair to be styled in his preferred style and was not under any terms allowed it coloured.
Only one time we broke the tinting rule, the following day Rachel came into work and begged for the colour to be removed. Rachel explained that she had been ordered by Darren to reverse her hair back to its natural colour. Of course it was!
I have no doubt that Rachel was controlled by Darren and to be honest myself and the rest of my staff were all fearful of him.
Court told The Metro that she now campaigns for against domestic abuse and for longer prison time for offenders.
“Obviously, I didn’t ask to be put in this domestic violence arena,” she said. “It was thrust on me because of a man’s actions. But Jack’s death is not going to be in vain. I’m going to keep on shouting about domestic violence until the government stands up and takes notice.”