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How cosmetologists are helping domestic abuse victims
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New programs across the world are looking to train cosmetologists about how to talk to domestic abuse victims about their experiences. - photo by Herb Scribner
Domestic abuse victims may not be afraid to open up to cosmetologists about their experiences.

In fact, cosmetologists in Canada have received training on how to talk to their clients about domestic abuse, since experts feel abuse victims are more likely to open up to someone they know, trust and see on a regular basis, like their cosmetologists, according to CTV News.

"A lot of people may never go to the formal system there are thousands of reasons why you may never see them," Rina Arseneault, associate director at the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre, told CTV News. "It doesn't mean they don't need more information to understand what prevention is all about, or understand how to leave, or understand they're not alone."

In fact, the New Brunswick Cosmetology Association and the Saint John Police force have worked together to host workshops that help cosmetologists learn proper ways to discuss domestic violence with their clients, CTV News reported.

"We deal with many clients that have issues," Colleen Jones-McLeod, a workshop participant, told CTV News. "And we want to always be able to help our clients, whether it's to deal with hair, or how they look in their beauty, (or) sometimes, dealing with their personal issues."

See more about those workshops in this video.

This isnt the first time cosmetologists have worked with domestic abuse victims to talk about their issues, especially in the United States. In fact, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence has an entire guide for cosmetologists about how to talk with their customers about domestic abuse experiences.

Clients often share very personal information with their stylists, the guide explained. Most women see a cosmetologist on a regular basis over many years. In that time, trusting relationships are built as clients and stylists share stories about their families, jobs and views on a variety of subjects. Cosmetologists are interested in their clients wellness and are experienced listeners.

And those programs do exist at some level. For example, the Cut It Out program in the U.S. has trained cosmetologists to recognize signs of abuse and offer support, ABC News reported.

The program, which is sponsored by the National Cosmetology Association, doesnt want to turn people in salons into counselors, according to Gordon Miller, the NCAs executive director, but rather allow cosmetologists a chance to help their community, ABC News reported.

Domestic violence experts and prosecutors have tried to encourage cosmetologists to go through similar training to help out the community, according to CBS.

Oftentimes there is a bond, and whether its a client sitting in a chair opening up about whats going on at home or possibly if a stylist were to notice physically there is something wrong, were asking them to step up," one policymaker, Alderman Matthew OShea, told CBS.