In 2001, more than 500,000 U.S. women were victims of nonfatal violence by an intimate partner.    
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    Signs that a client or someone you know may be abused:

    One sign does not prove abuse. However, a combination of them, or repeated signs, may indicate abuse.
    • Bruising in different stages of healing, especially if the bruising is in areas not usually seen by others, such as the scalp
    • Bald spots indicating hair has been torn or pulled out
    • Frequent injuries, especially with unusual explanations
    • Injuries not seen but indicated by general mobility difficulties due to soreness, tenderness, bruising
    • Isolation from friends and family
    • Low self-esteem, a sense that she doesn't deserve better treatment
    • Self-blame or unrealistic guilt ("It's my fault, I shouldn't have made him mad.")
    • Partner always accompanies client to appointments or waits outside in the parking lot
    • Fear of the partner, insecurity about his actions

    You may also notice the following behavior:
    • The partner dictates the frequency of her salon visits
    • The partner will not allow her to change her hair color or style
    • The partner is controlling or excessively jealous

    What can you do if a client or someone you know is being abused?
    • Believe the person who tells you that she is being abused. Her abuser may have her convinced that she is at fault or that she doesn't deserve better treatment.
    • Keep whatever she tells you confidential. Her life may be at stake.
    • Gently guide her to find help. Suggest that she contact her local domestic violence agency or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE). Suggest that she needs to consult a qualified, objective third party.
    • Don't try to fix the problem for her or become her counselor - your local domestic violence agency is staffed with trained personnel to counsel victims and help to ensure their safety. All have access to a shelter or safe house. Don't put yourself in harm's way or increase the danger for the victim by getting in the middle.

    Help others to understand that domestic violence is absolutely, totally unacceptable and usually escalates over time. Have the number of your local agency or the National Domestic Violence Hotline number (1-800-799-SAFE) handy.


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