OP-ED SUBMISSION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: March 18, 2004
A NEW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND EDUCATION PROGRAM COMES TO DELAWARE
By Attorney General M. Jane Brady
Over the time I have been Attorney General, I have expanded resources within my office available to victims of crime, including domestic violence victims. We have a specialized unit including specially trained prosecutors to handle domestic violence cases. We have worked to implement, and trained on, a prosecution model that doesn’t put victims at greater risk. We’ve worked to address dating violence and violence in the workplace and have reached out to Delaware’s clergy, training them about the dynamics of domestic violence, what resources are available to victims and helping guide their advice to the persons and families they serve.
The reason I have addressed the issue in so many different ways is because domestic violence victims are all ages, in all locations and have many interests. Soon we will implement a new statewide program to utilize yet another avenue for education, awareness and support.
The new domestic violence awareness and education program is entitled, “Cut It Out: Salons Against Domestic Violence.” I am excited by the unique approach of the program – offering education sessions to hair and nail salon professionals about the dynamics of domestic violence and informing them about assistance that is available to victims in their communities. I contacted the national sponsors of the training and asked that Delaware be considered as a target state for this new program. Delaware is fortunate to have been chosen by the national partners as one of the first states to be able to offer this training to its salon professionals.
I know from experience that salon professionals are aware that some of their clients are in abusive relationships. This training will help salon professionals recognize signs of domestic violence and learn about local resources that can help. In addition to training sessions, the project provides posters and brochures for salons to display to raise awareness and provide information to clients.
The 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. The Executive Director of Southern Living at HOME, who is also a member of the Women’s Fund, envisioned the expansion of the Alabama program to salons around the country.
In Delaware, the Attorney General’s Office, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering are working to bring the “Cut It Out” program to local salons. We formed a Leadership Committee of salon owners to assist in the planning and implementation of the training and have held initial meetings. We hope to offer trainings around the state to salon professionals later this year. Local domestic violence advocates will team with specially trained members of the National Cosmetology Association to offer the training sessions.
This project is not designed to make counselors out of hairdressers or nail technicians. But we all know that salon professionals do offer a listening ear to their clients. By giving them information and resource materials, we hope that salon professionals in Delaware will be better able to spot the signs of domestic violence and offer resources to their clients to help them break free from an abusive situation.
How Can You Help?
Mention this program and the trainings at your salon next time you are getting a hair cut or your nails done. Encourage them to participate. We’ll be sending out a notice about the trainings to all licensed salons. For more information about the national “Cut It Out” program, visit our website at attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/
Domestic violence takes a terrible toll on relationships, children, 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.