Program Aims To Help Beauty Professionals Spot Domestic Violence
Program aims to help beauty professionals spot domestic violence
From an outsider’s perspective, the solution to domestic violence may seem cut and dried. Perhaps the most frequent question asked about domestic violence victims is: why don’t they just leave? Sadly, the situation is often more complicated than that.
Victims of domestic violence may feel frightened to leave their abuser due to fears of retaliation or fears that their children will be harmed if they do. Abusers often exert psychological control over their victims as well as committing acts of physical violence. In some situations, victims may be scared to leave their abuser because they don’t know where they will go or to whom they can turn for help. Thankfully, victim advocacy groups are trying to address some of these issues in unique ways.
A recent USA Today article discusses a relatively new program that trains salon professionals to recognize signs that their customers might be victims of domestic violence. Hundreds of women have already participated in the “Cut It Out” program, including those who work as hair stylists, makeup artists, skin-care specialists and massage therapists.
Women often develop warm relationships with their beauticians. This makes beauticians uniquely poised to recognize signs of domestic violence or to become a trusted confidant. The nature of a beautician’s work also puts her in close physical proximity with her clients, which means she may be able to spot the physical signs of abuse that others might miss.
By educating themselves about domestic violence, beauticians can let their customers know about available resources in the community. They may also be able to encourage their clients to seek help in a way that doesn’t seem judgmental or imposing.
The “Cut It Out” program reportedly began in 2002 and has been tried in various parts of the country. Hopefully, this is a resource that will be used by beauticians and other professionals here in New Jersey.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the first and most important priority is to seek a safe and secure location (both for the victim and their children) that the abuser either doesn’t know about or cannot access. Then, please seek the help of law enforcement.
Source: USA Today, “Mass. stylists taught to spot domestic violence,” Denise Lavoie, Feb. 2, 2014