Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hair Dressers Can Help

Hair stylists and salon professionals are notorious for having close, personal relationships with their clients. Even if you have just met a hairdresser for one visit, you may have found yourself sharing personal information about your life, your family and your work which you would not disclose to your doctor or your neighbor even. An article in today's New York Times highlights how hairdressers seem to be more aware than other professionals about violence and abuse happening to their clients. Partly this is because of what their clients share with them, but also because a hairdresser may find bruises, burns or other injuries hidden in the scalp, a place abuser's harm because it is not as visible as other parts of the body. A nationwide initiative to educate hairdressers about how they can identify and help victims of domestic violence, called Cut It Out, has already trained over 40,000 salon professionals across the country. Here is their video about the problem:

You can also find more resources for Salon Professionals on

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Men Working to End Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, which is primarly treated as a women's problem, has some new activists on board with a new message. Those activists are men and they are reaching out to help. A Call to Men, a wonderful organization dedicated to galvanizing a movement of men to end all forms of violence against women, sates "that ending violence against women is primarily the responsibility of men. Although historically it has been almost entirely women who have been at the forefront addressing this issue, we think it is essential that men play a primary role in the solution to end it."

Other men who have joined the movement are Byron Hurt, a filmmaker, speaker and activist to end violence against women. Here is a sample of his award winning documents "Beyond Beats and Rhymes"

Check it out! We think its so important to take a proactive approach to stopping violence against women, and that means preventing it before it happens. More research needs to be done on the risk factors of what makes some men abusers and others not, and there needs to be more social accountability on the part of men to step up and help women in this fight for freedom. Furthermore, there needs to be a change in our media in the way they treat women.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Domestic Violence in Art

We found this great website we wanted to share with you! Two artists have put together photographs and texts in a moving online exhibit about domestic violence. Here is one piece from the show below, but you can also see the whole thing here: Beating Hearts: Stories of Domestic Violence.

"I keep looking in the mirror and crying. I can't stand to see myself. My hair was down below my waist. I hadn't cut it in over twenty years. Now look at me.

He didn't speak to me during supper. He had been calling me all day, but I was working in the garden, so I wasn't by the phone. I tried to tell him that, but he just stopped talking to me. That's what he does when he gets mad. So I got the kids into bed and I took my bath. When I came out, he walked up to me with a pair of scissors. I didn't know what he was going to do at first, but then he grabbed my hair and pulled it so hard that tears just popped out of my eyes. Then he just chopped it off.

I tried to fight him, but he said he'd stab me if I didn't sit still. I cried so hard. Then he told me he was going to get the belt. When he went to the bedroom, I ran outside. I ran to our next-door neighbor's house and hid in his workshop. Ben came out looking for me, and then he got our 15-year-old son to help him. My own son!

I used the phone in the shop and called the police. They came and got me. I had to leave in my nightgown, and both of the kids are still with their dad! When will I see my kids?

I'm so worried. I had better go back home. I need some clothes. i want to talk to my kids. What about my daughter? She's only eleven. She'll cry when she sees my hair.

I can't stay here. I have to go back home. ben will be mad, but I can handle it. I appreciate your help and all. Please don't be mad at me. I just have to go home."


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Announcing the First Happy Hour!


Terrible Violence Against Women in Africa

Africa has been suffering for many many years now. Occasionally international and domestic news sources run stories of the violence there, but surely there are many many hundreds of acts of violence against women which go unreported. One story which recently breached our news channels, was of a 13 year old Somalian girl who was raped by three men while she traveled by foot through the dangerous country to visit her grandmother. When she and her family went to the authorities to report the abuse, they instead charged the girl with "adultery" and sentenced her to death by stoning. In a stadium full of 1,000 people she was placed in a hole, leaving only her head showing, and had rocks thrown at her until she died.

This makes me feel not only heartbroken for the girl and her family, but outraged at the inhuman acts being committed without any accountability to the international community. This news is outrageous and horrifying, but hopefully the next president of United States may find a way to work with the global community to help the people in Africa.