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Contact: Lori Sitler or Janice Fitzsimons
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: November 15, 2005
SALONS JOIN EFFORT TO ASSIST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS
Cut It Out: Salons Against Domestic Abuse Program Kicks Off at the Michael Christopher Salon
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General Jane Brady, Becky Bledsoe -Miss Delaware, members of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Michael Christopher Hemphill today gathered at the Michael Christopher Salon in Wilmington to discuss “Cut It Out: Salons Against Domestic Abuse,” a domestic violence awareness and education program for salon professionals and to kick off the initial salon training for this program.
Hemphill, whose salon staff attended the first Cut It Out training this afternoon, said, “As hair stylists we have a unique and intimate relationship with our clients, after all, we share ‘beauty secrets’! Participating in the Cut It Out Program against domestic abuse gives us the opportunity to talk about the secret of abuse, a horrific problem that touches many. By providing information on where to get help, our hope is that we can encourage someone to take that needed step away from the abuse.”
Noel Jones, the Training and Prevention Coordinator at the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, teamed with Juan Rodrigues from Peoples Place II to offer today’s training session to the Michael Christopher salon staff. Jones offered remarks on behalf of the Coalition. “The Cut It Out program provides domestic violence advocates with a wonderful opportunity to reach victims of domestic violence who might never call the police or a shelter hot line. We know professionals in the beauty industry often develop long term relationships with their clients and they may become trusted confidents. Cut It Out enables advocates to train cosmetologists and stylists regarding the legal rights and services available to victims of domestic violence and in turn this information can be shared with clients who disclose that they are experiencing abuse at the hands of their partner. This exciting project will help us reach more victims throughout Delaware.”
The Cut It Out initiative was launched nationally by a partnership between Southern Living at HOME, the National Cosmetology Association and Clairol Professional with funding from the Salons Against Domestic Abuse Fund, a non-profit entity. The “Cut It Out” program began in Alabama as a partnership between the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Greater Birmingham Women’s Fund.
This project is not designed to make counselors out of hairdressers or nail technicians but by giving them information and resource materials, salon professionals will be better able to spot the signs of domestic violence and offer resources to their clients.
Becky Bledsoe, the reigning Miss Delaware, is the official Delaware Ambassador for the
Verizon Wireless HopeLines Program which refurbishes donated cell phones for use by domestic violence victims. Bledsoe said, “It is with great pride that I align with the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence in this innovative outreach program. As the Michael Christopher Salon is a generous sponsor of the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization, I am particularly thrilled with their initiative to solve this insidious epidemic. My sincere wish is that through ‘Cut It Out’, those in abusive situations will find the resources, support, and safety they need and deserve. Delaware now ranks 4th in the nation for domestic violence related homicides per capita. I am confident, however, that through pioneering programs such as ‘Cut It Out’, that statistic will change.”
In Delaware, seasoned domestic violence advocates are available to offer free training to salon professionals who would like to learn more about how they can help to address this problem which undoubtedly faces a portion of their clients. Salons can call the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence at (302) 658-2958 to arrange for an on-site training session.
Attorney General Brady, whose office brought the Cut It Out program to Delaware, summed up her remarks about her office’s involvement in addressing domestic violence through a variety of policy and training initiatives by saying, “domestic violence takes a terrible toll on relationships, businesses and our community. This new initiative provides yet another way for all of us, working together, to help end the fear and pain of domestic violence victims.”