For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: October 13, 2004

Wasden Announces Cut Out Domestic Violence Program

(Boise) - Victims of domestic violence may get help from their salon care professionals because of a program unveiled by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance. "Cut Out Domestic Violence" trains salon professionals to be aware of domestic violence and provide clients who are being abused with helpful information and proper referrals.

"Salon professionals often see their clients regularly, month after month, year after year," Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. "They build relationships with their clients and can often spot troubling patterns of behavior or changes in a client's behavior. Salon professionals are experienced listeners and it is not uncommon for women who are experiencing abuse to confide in them. In addition, the salon may be one of the few places a domestic violence victim can go without the abuser."

Wasden said his office has partnered with the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance to sponsor training workshops throughout Idaho. The Attorney General and the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance are also working closely with the State Board of Cosmetology, the Idaho Cosmetology Association and the Idaho Association of Cosmetology Schools. The program brings salon professionals and domestic violence experts together and combines their expertise to bring information to domestic violence victims.

"I commend Attorney General Lawrence Wasden for recognizing this opportunity for intervention in an otherwise unrecognized arena," Executive Director Diane Blumel of the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance said. "I would like to thank Bev LeChance for her contribution and would also like to thank all of the domestic violence programs for their participation in this program and most importantly for the day-to-day impact of their efforts in bringing assistance to domestic violence victims."

To coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, twenty-four training seminars have been scheduled throughout Idaho beginning this month.

In addition, the Idaho Cosmetology Schools Association has agreed to include the training in member schools' regular curriculum on an ongoing basis.

"Because of the two-pronged approach, I'm confident that this program will have an ongoing, long term benefit to Idaho residents," Attorney General Wasden said. "Our statewide seminars will reach many working salon professionals. In addition, most, if not all, future cosmetologists will receive domestic violence training before they begin their professional careers."

Salon professionals will learn to recognize the signs of domestic violence and making appropriate responses if and when a client raises the subject. The trainers will emphasize that salon professionals should only get involved to the extent that their knowledge level allows.

The salon professionals will be encouraged to focus their attention on creating a safe and inviting environment, an environment that would encourage clients to ask for information on domestic violence.

Salon professionals will leave the training seminars with the skills to spot the common characteristics of a batterer, possible signs of abuse, an understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence, the legal definition of domestic violence and the knowledge of the effects of domestic violence on the victim's children.

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