By Cecilia Nasmith
So many women cherish the “confidant” kind of relationship they enjoy with professionals who (in some cases) know them best – their salon professionals.
Over years of dye jobs, hairdressing and manicures, chitchat can turn to confiding. And in those cases where a woman is most vulnerable to domestic violence, salon professionals can go a step beyond compassion to help make a difference.
Local salons are partnering with Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre to implement Neighbours, Friends and Families Cut It Out, a program designed to instruct salon professionals to recognize some of the warning signs of domestic violence and make a referral to local resources that is safe for the client.
Cut It Out training consists of a presentation and discussion, with an emphasis on the trusting relationships these professionals have with their clients and how they can recognize significant signs and respond in a supportive, safe and compassionate way. It will offer insights into how they can be instrumental in opening the door for a vulnerable woman to access information and seek support.
“Cut It Out provides a unique and innovative way to address one of the most unrelenting obstacles to helping victims of domestic violence – finding them and providing them a safe way to seek help,” Cornerstone executive director Nancy Johnston said in the agency's press release.
“Having programs like Cut It Out in place helps connect us to the community, which helps us in our mission to break the cycle of family violence.”
City Streaks in downtown Cobourg was the first to have a training session through the program, “Our staff are in a unique position to give each client a safe environment to speak in trust and feel listened to and supported,” City Streaks owner Lorraine Harnden said,
“Cornerstone is integral to the safety of families in Northumberland County, and we feel it important that we educate ourselves in how we can help them help families.”
The Cut It Out program is facilitated by Cornerstone staff and provided in collaboration with Port Hope Police Service, offering local salons a way to help end domestic violence in our community by educating their professionals to be resources for information as well as loyal confidants.
The program is sponsored by Neighbours Friends and Families Cut It Out and the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children.
For more information, or if you are interested in having Cornerstone host a training session at your salon, contact Janelle Eisler at 905-372-1545 ext. 237 or firstname.lastname@example.org