Domestic violence is an equal opportunity outrage. Experts agree that it is not an offense limited to those in lower income brackets. They also agree that women are not the only victims of domestic violence. Just about anyone can be a victim. The abuse can take many forms and is not limited to just the marriage setting.
Anyone in an abusive relationship who fears for their immediate safety should call 911. And anyone wondering about the possible value of a restraining order and whether it's appropriate for them should consult an experienced attorney.
In an ideal world, anyone who is a victim would take the initiative to get out of such a relationship. But many feel trapped economically. Others may feel trapped psychologically. Still others may not know what resources are available or how to go about finding them. That's something that the "Cut It Out" program seeks to address.
We don't know how active the program may be in the Tri-Valley area, but it has a presence based on its website and it got some exposure in the San Francisco Chronicle recently. What it seeks to do is to enlist the help of beauty professionals to bridge the gap between victims of abuse and the social services that exist to help them.
Leveraging those in the beauty industry seems to make a lot of sense. The theory is that the relationship that tends to exist between individuals and their personal care specialists is already one of trust. That should make it easier to broach such a delicate issue when stylists and skin specialists spot possible evidence of abuse on scalps, necks and faces.
Promoters of the program say the goal isn't to turn these professionals into mandatory reporters or auxiliary police. Rather, they say the objective is to educate them on spotting victims and equipping them to encourage getting help.
One organizer of the program in Massachusetts says she doesn't know how many women have been helped. But the CEO of one salon chain there says considering that some 300,000 clients were served by his company last year, the potential is immense.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Mass. beauticians taught to spot domestic violence," Denise LaVoie, The Associated Press, Feb. 2, 2014