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Domestic Violence & the Beauty Professionals’ Impact 

December 11, 2020

Beauty Means Business Radio 

Domestic Violence & the Beauty Professionals Impact 

Susanne Shepherd Post 

Susanne is a salon owner of 17 years and has been a stylist behind the chair for 27Post, a survivor of domestic violence, co-founded the Shear Haven initiative alongside the YWCA Nashville which educates stylists and beauty professionals about the signs of domestic violence.  

Tennessee is ninth state in the nation at the rate that women are killed by men. Furthermore, one in four women will be punched, slapped, burned, kicked, strangled, or otherwise beaten by an intimate partner during her lifetime⁸⁴. In fact, homicide is a leading cause of death for women under 40, and nearly half of these victims are killed by a male intimate partner” ⁶⁸, as cited by Halle Tecco’s article Domestic Violence in 2020 America  

When it comes to domestic violence and isolation, beauty professionals are often the only relationship that victims and survivors have that is consistent. Susanne points out the special relationship beauty professionals have with their clients. Working with physical touch allows pros to create a space of openness and safety where other professions and even personal relationships can’t. “Isolation plays a major role in domestic violence, as it is used as a tool to control a victim’s activities and interactions with the outside world… Constant surveillance [makes] it harder for victims to call for help. The combination of more time at home and less work made it easier for perpetrators to strip their victims of freedom and privacy, and prevented survivors from help-seeking.” cites Tecco. 

At a critical time in our history, the effects of 2020, COVID-19, and the civil unrest across Black Lives Matter and the US Presidential Election has skyrocketed domestic violence in American homes. Susanne, the YWCA Nashville and Barbicide are working to eliminate the stigma around the conversation, expand awareness and invite knowledge and education to our society, their first step: the beauty professional. Susanne’s goal is to change legislation so that continuing education curriculum must include domestic violence education. An initiative that is shockingly under-addressed.  

The biggest shift that comes from a domestic violence certification is what the perception of domestic violence is and what the signs are. 

Some states require domestic violence training for continuing education. 

The Shear Haven domestic violence training will only take you 20 minutes and is available here on Barbicide’s website. 

Takeaways 

  • Beauty professionals are often the only relationship that victims and survivors have that is consistent. 
  • “During the pandemic, domestic violence has killed more people than COVID-19 in rural Alaska” – Tecco. 
  • Isolation plays a major role in domestic violence, as it is used as a tool to control a victim’s activities and interactions with the outside world 
  • “One in four women will be punched, slapped, burned, kicked, strangled, or otherwise beaten by an intimate partner during her lifetime” 

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