Domestic abuse statistics in the United States are horrifying: Each day, four women in this country are murdered by an intimate male partner; every 15 seconds, a woman is battered by an intimate partner. A "safe" shelter is often the only place a woman in crisis, and her children, can be protected. Most shelters are underfunded and understaffed. But now, salons can reach out and help victims of domestic violence by participating in Adopt-A-Shelter, a new outreach program sponsored by The Salons Against Domestic Abuse Fund (SADAF) and Cut It Out, which educates salon professionals to recognize, respond and refer victims of domestic abuse.
"Each salon chooses a shelter to adopt and decides how to help the women, working hand-in-hand with the trained shelter personnel," says Jeanne Matson, general manager of Clairol Professional, which joins the National Cosmetology Association (NCA) and Southern Living At HOME as a partner of the Cut It Out program. "Some salons collect clothes and beauty supplies donated by salon staff and clients, which are delivered to the shelter, or the participating local agency, on a regular schedule. Often salon staff members will visit the shelter and provide free beauty care to the residents. If visits to the shelter are not allowed, the women and children can be brought to the salon for hair, skin and nail services."
Although some shelter locations are kept secret for the victims' protection, a salon can still make a significant contribution by working through a local social-services agency. Salons that register their adoption with Cut It Out will receive a kit with step-by-step guidelines on how to connect to a local shelter and/or local social-service agencies, and specific ways salon professionals can help. Registered salons will also receive a certificate and a Cut It Out Kit containing posters and safety cards to discreetly place in the salon.
By adopting a shelter for victims of domestic abuse, salons are organizing the power of an entire industry to stand up and be counted. October 2005 is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and is a significant time to Adopt-A-Shelter. There is no excuse for abuse!