By Rachel Molepske, PBA Manager of Charitable Programs
As a salon/industry professional, you encounter countless people from many different walks of life. The beauty of this industry is the diversity, the multitude of relationships and long-lasting friendships that are forged through the work you do on a daily basis. If you were made aware that one of your clients, friends, or co-worker was in trouble, would you help? What if a client or co-worker confided in you, and revealed that they are a victim of domestic violence? Would you even know what to do and how to help? These questions raised are extremely important and often times prove difficult to answer. The reality is that here in the United States, domestic violence is a horrible epidemic that has taken hold of many individuals.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, domestic violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or any other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.” The domestic violence epidemic transverses age, gender, religion, economic status, nationality, and educational background. Often times violence is followed by emotional abuse and controlling behavior, further enhancing the systematic pattern of dominance against the victim.
Research has shown that most battered women never call the police or go to a shelter. In the United States, battery is the single largest cause of injury to women, and accounts for 35% of women’s annual emergency room visits (Violence again Women, 2000). However, they do usually talk about the abuse with someone they trust. For an abused woman, a salon may be an ideal environment to seek out help because it may be one of the few places she is allowed to go without her abuser. Salon professionals are skilled and experienced listeners who are personally interested in those around them, so many victims suffering from abuse feel comfortable confiding in them – even if they would never tell anyone else. This is one of the many reasons salons have rallied in an effort to make a difference and refer victims to get the help they desperately need.
Salon professionals are in a unique position to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse in their clients and co-workers. Due to the intimate and nurturing nature of the relationship between salon professionals and their clients and co-workers, salon professionals can often spot signs of physical abuse that others may never see.
Statistics have shown that one out of every three women is abused at some point in her life. With the amount of clients salon professionals come into contact with every month, they are potentially in the company of abused women often. Proper training on how to recognize the signs of abuse and knowing how to approach victims can make salon professionals invaluable and influential community partners in the fight against domestic abuse. Industry professionals are in the perfect position to safely refer victims to the proper resources, where they can gain the confidence and receive the help they need to put a stop to the abuse.
The Professional Beauty Association’s (PBA) CUT IT OUT program is dedicated to mobilizing salon professionals across the U.S. to help put a stop to the epidemic of domestic abuse. The mission is to educate salon professionals to become more aware, have the ability to recognize potential signs of domestic abuse in their clients, co-workers, friends and family to safely refer them to local resources for help.
CUT IT OUT builds awareness and creates a dialogue about domestic violence to actively help clients who are suffering from suspected abuse. Supplies, such as posters and safety cards, are distributed free of charge to participating salons and are intended for display at stylists’ work stations and in discreet locations, such as the restroom. These inconspicuous safety cards contain the information and phone number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. CUT IT OUT also encourages salons to support their local domestic violence shelters by organizing fund-raisers, providing complimentary services to shelter residents, donating beauty products, or donating proceeds to local shelters and programs.
CUT IT OUT Education
The CUT IT OUT program provides salon professionals with information on domestic violence and in-depth, specific information about how to respond to a client who may be the victim of abuse. Education seminars are targeted toward industry professionals, salons, cosmetology schools, and other similar venues. Educational materials are provided with everything needed to provide abuse victims with the proper assistance and referrals to helpful resources.
Join The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) in fighting domestic abuse by ordering free materials for your salon, fundraiser opportunities, getting in touch with a local CUT IT OUT trainer, or just to learn more about the signs of abuse. Learn more at probeauty.org/cutitout.
About the Author
Rachel Molepske is the Manager of Charitable Programs for the Professional Beauty Association. Need more information or have questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480.455.3453 (800.468.2274. ext. 3453). The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) believes strongly that every member has the power to make a difference. Through our Charitable Outreach programs and partnerships, we seek to engage professionals in giving back to their industry and communities. Along with our Charitable Outreach programs, PBA provides our members with Government Advocacy, Signature Events, Education, Research and Business Resources. Visit probeauty.org for more information.