Hair care professionals gathered Monday at Parkview Field for a training on domestic violence. Participants were taught to recognize warning signs of domestic violence and how to safely refer clients to local resources.
Cut it Out is a national training program for salon professionals. It was brought to Fort Wayne by the YWCA of Northeast Indiana, the Allen County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Victim Assistance and The Professional Beauty Association.
Kathy Mager is the Domestic Violence Coordinator for the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, She said she hopes attendees left the training with important information.
“Understanding what domestic violence is, recognizing signs of domestic violence, and a resource to provide anyone who is need of any kind of assistance for safety,” Mager said.
Elizabeth Harris, the owner of Lizziebella's Hair Design, helped organize the event and shared her personal story with the participants.
“I was married and in a relationship that was violent for several years. And when I got out of that and based on that and another health concern I actually decided that I would go back to school to do hair. The police actually Victim's Assistant was huge in me leaving him,” Harris said.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Additionally, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
Harris says she has helped some clients access local resources.
“I oftentimes share my story with my clients, with people that I know through the salon so that we can make a difference and impact the community as a whole,” added Harris.
According to the Cut it Out website, salon professionals can often spot signs of physical abuse that others may not see due to the intimate and nurturing nature of the job.
Several states are required to provide domestic violence training to hair care professional but Indiana is not one of those states.