Students at Cosmetology School Learn the Signs of Domestic Violence

Cosmetology students at a cosmetology school were recently hosts to domestic violence survivors in a joint effort by the District Attorney’s office and the high school to help detect domestic violence.

The students at the cosmetology program at Nashoba Valley Technical in Westford, MA provide manicures and haircuts to the victims each year as part of a special program to help them identify the signs of domestic abuse in a salon setting.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office and the high school host this annual event, which is dubbed “Cut it Out”. Talking with a customer is a core part of cosmetology school and a conversation could save someone’s life if the stylist knows the signs of abuse. The district attorney there believes that the salon is one of those places where the victims of domestic abuse are more likely to tell their secrets.

The victims were treated to a little pampering and were able to take with them items to help them find gainful employment, including self-confidence and business clothing. The idea is to build confidence so the survivors feel that they can begin to stand on their own again.

The cosmetology school students learned from District Attorney Gerry Leone and General Counsel Marian Ryan about the survivors of domestic violence before beginning their sessions. They learned that one in three women is a victim of domestic violence, usually by someone they know.  The students were told by the pair that domestic violence doesn’t always occur in a romantic relationship; children and parents can become victims too.

The students at the cosmetology school also learned that not all victims of domestic violence feel like they can leave. Some stay for financial reasons, such as a sick child and others stay because they fear further harm if they leave.

Some of the signs that the cosmetology school’s students learned were clumps of hair missing, bruises on a person’s head, an extremely timid or skittish person, or stress related hair, nail, and skin deficiencies.