PITTSBURG — Most hair salons know about their clients’ pets, family, work, relationships and more.

Safehouse Crisis Center is now offering a training program for local salons to give hairstylists and staff tools on how to recognize abuse victims and safely refer them to the help they need.

This program is called CUT IT OUT: The Beauty Community Against Domestic Abuse. It was created by the Professional Beauty Association in 2003 to “mobilize salon professionals and others to fight the epidemic of domestic abuse in communities across the U.S. by building awareness and training salon professionals to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients, colleagues, friends and family to local resources,” the PBA website said.

Because survivors are most likely away from their abusers when they go to the salon, Safehouse Prevention Education Specialist Ali Smith said, giving the salons the tools to help abuse victims was a good choice.

“They [victims] may feel safe in the chair at the salon and may talk about their life … they [hairstylists] will be able to see signs, respond appropriately and then safely refer them to help,” Smith said.

Hairstylists and staff will be trained on paying particular attention to their conversations with clients listening for signs of isolation, verbal abuse, threats and more. Signs could be physical too, she said, this could include hair loss due to stress.

Salons interested in receiving training may call Smith at Safehouse Crisis Center. Times and dates will be created for training. Smith said Safehouse also offers training to other businesses and organizations.

Victims of abuse can call the center’s 24/7 hotline at 1-800-794-9148.

About Safehouse Crisis Center

From April 2017 through March 2018 Safehouse has served 767 victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Clients received over 27,000 services including crisis intervention, safety planning, support groups, therapy, emergency shelter, housing assistance, public benefits, job counseling, information about crime and victimization, information about the criminal justice process, civil legal advocacy, court accompaniment, law enforcement interview accompaniment, forensic exam accompaniment and more. During that time, 210 victims and survivors utilized its emergency shelter.
Safehouse serves Crawford, Cherokee, Bourbon, Linn, Montgomery, Wilson and Labette counties.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.