Body, Bath & Beauty Blog

Salons Help Fight Domestic Violence

Posted on: November 24, 2008

It’s always exciting to hear about the beauty world making a difference in the rest of the world. Usually this takes place in the form of charities (ie. Breast Cancer Awareness). However, I found an article in the New York Times about salons learning how to communicate with their customers that may be experiencing domestic abuse. 

“The privileged, often therapeutic relationship between hairdressers and clients has long been the subject of magazine articles and movies. A growing movement in New York and across the nation tries to harness that bond to identify and prevent domestic violence, a pervasive problem that victims are often too ashamed to reveal to law enforcement or other public officials.”

Salons have the benefit of being a trusting environment for women that face domestic abuse. This benefit can help fill a void in prevention, because women are more comfortable sharing in the salon than with police.

“‘The salon may be one of the few places women might be without their abuser around,’ said Laurie Magid, a former state prosecutor who is acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. ‘This program really addresses a need. You don’t have a case unless you have a crime reported in the first place and that is the difficult area of domestic violence.'”

Cut It Out, a Chicago-based nation wide program, trains salon workers off site, and has actually become integrated in cosmetology programs such as the Empire Educational Group, and received an endorsement from the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. Yet the Washington Heights program takes a more hands on approach and trains stylists in their salons during business hours.

“This not only makes it easier for people to participate, but also enhances the comfort factor.”

You can check out the full article, Enlisting the Aid of Hairstylists as Sentinels for Domestic Abuse by Leslie Kaufmann on the New York Times website here.


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