Educating hair salon staff to recognize signs of domestic abuse in their clients
Hairstylists are uniquely positioned to identify signs of domestic abuse in their customers: customers typically come in regularly over a long period of time, and a hair appointment often turns into chit-chat or a mini-therapy session between friends. As hair salons are usually female-only, they're seen as a safe space for women to talk about their personal lives.
There are several programs across the US that train hair stylists and cosmeticians in recognizing signs of domestic violence and teaching them to refer victims to local resources for help. For example, the Cut It Out program, based in Chicago, has trained at least 40,000 salon workers across the US (2008 figure). NYC's Administration for Children’s Services also had a one-year training initative in 2007-2008.
Unfortunately, none of these programs tracks how many women have been helped. (That's a real pity...)
Here's a great article from the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/nyregion/20salons.html?pagewanted=all
Cut It Out program: http://www.cutitout.org/