KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The conversation of domestic violence is entering local salons as cosmetologists in Tennessee are now required to receive at least an hour of training on the topic.
Chelsie Leonard, the domestic violence coordinator for the McNabb Center said the state ranks ninth in the U.S. on women being murdered by men, which is why she believes this training is important for stylists.
“It may be the only place that a victim can get to, to be able to disclose, and especially with that one-on-one relationship that they have with their stylist,” Leonard said. “We just feel it’s important that they be able to recognize, respond and refer.”
Rebecca Brubaker, a stylist at The Metropolis in Knoxville, is one of the many cosmetologists receiving training. She said it’s provided her with a new perspective.
“Its things that you wouldn’t even think of that would be abuse,” Brubaker said.
To recognize the signs, Leonard said it can look different for many victims.
“It may be bald spots in the back of the head, it may be that the abuser told the stylist exactly how they want their (victim) haircut, and stylist recognize something isn’t right here,” she said.
Brubaker said she recently noticed some red flags after a client reached out for help.
“She was telling me how he laughed in her face, saying it needed to be cut shorter, and it was just kind of alarming to me, like what do you say in a situation like that?”
Now she knows, and she’s ready to use the knowledge she gained during the training to help others that may be seeking answers.
“Or to just be someone that they feel comfortable to come to, to talk about it even if they aren’t ready to get that help,” Brubaker said.
Anyone looking for more information on how to report or receive information on domestic violence resources can contact the McNabb crisis line at 865-637-8000. It’s available 24/7 and is fully confidential.