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Initiatives bring help for intimate partner violence to the local hair salon
Posted in Advocacy, emotional awareness - 0 Comments

A trembling voice asked a loved one to watch her kids because her partner had “some business to attend to” and she didn’t know how long it would take, thus, she pleaded if the children could spend the night if she didn’t return in good time. Women who are being abused at home are often trying to give “the signal” to those closest to them, alerting them to the danger. Understanding how to recognize these signals can help those in need get to safety and recovery from the trauma they have experienced.

A a recent study, published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, explores the functionality neighborhood services that can play a role in screening for intimate partner violence.

Trauma screenings at hair stylists

The study tested the efficacy of intimate partner violence (IPV) screenings in Connecticut hair salons, with the stylists being trained to identify red flags.

The results, as hypothesized, reflected the national prevalence rates of abuse. The authors indicated that the women who reported abuse were forthcoming about their experiences. Of the salon patrons screened:

  • 6 percent reported abuse within the past year
  • 7 reported sexual abuse within the last year
  • Emotional or physical abuse was reported by more than 34 percent women
  • 3 percent admitted they had been hurt that day by their current or former partner
  • Past-year physical abuse was more common among women in their 30s
  • Past-year sexual abuse was more common among 20s-something women
  • Lifetime abuse was most common among divorced women, at nearly 70 percent, followed by black women with more than 36 percent admitting abuse across their lifespan and finally women-of-a-certain-age (50 to 59 years old)
  • Hurt-today abuse was most common among women in common-law relationships, at 25 percent

The study went on to affirm that the “documentation of IPV prevalence in hair salons will provide much-needed support for novel interventions such as Cut It Out, a national program designed to train hair stylists on how to recognize and refer IPV victims.”

Cut It Out program debuted in Arizona

The Cut It Out program, used nationwide, was piloted here in Arizona in the past and offered as part of local cosmetology school curriculum.

Rachel Molepske, director of leadership operations with Arizona’s Professional Beauty Association (PBA), oversees the Cut It Out campaign and tries her best to help out the victims.

The PBA Foundation gives posters and safety cards to salons that want to be a part of the campaign. The safety cards can be placed at stylists’ workstations and in discreet locations and bear the information and contact number of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The program also motivates salons to support their local domestic violence shelters.

Those suffering from trauma and stress should not shy away from treatment. They should seek timely intervention or the situation can get out of hand and give rise to other ailments.

Seeking treatment

Sovereign Health of Chandler is a leader in trauma-informed behavioral health treatment for mental health distress that may have manifested in addictions or mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Call our 24/7 helpline to learn more about Serenity House, our individualized first phase of residential recovery that envelops women with sensitive and mindful de-escalation following trauma, to prepare their hearts for therapeutic rehabilitation.

About the author

Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a Sovereign Health writer and her intriguing storytelling has been featured with Sovereign Health, KPBS TV/FM, FOX5 News in San Diego and NPR. Her illustrative and relatable approach to digital and broadcast news bridges businesses and consumers, news and community. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at

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