OKLAHOMA CITY -- For victims of domestic abuse, it's not always easy to find help, but a trip to the salon just might be their best hope.
Hairdressers are often the first to see the signs of domestic abuse firsthand. Sometimes it's hard not to.
"When you're doing somebody's hair, that's the most intimate you can be with that person, you're in their space, said Treela Eastom of C.C.'s Cosmetology College. "And they're gonna talk to you."
Eastom inquired about the "Cut It Out" program just a few weeks ago, and coordinated with Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. in Tulsa to provide local training at C.C.'s Cosmetology College.
"Cut It Out" is a national organization that trains salon professionals nationwide to identify the signs of domestic abuse in dealing with their clients. The organization also provides valuable information about how and where victims can find help.
Eastom is a victim of domestic violence herself. She suffered at the hands of her ex-husband.
"He choked me until I passed out in from of my children," said Eastom. "He dislocated my shoulder and broke my nose."
Eastom was fortunate enough to have friends who helped her get out her abusive situation, but realizes that's not the case for all victims. That's why personal hairdressers play such a big part.
"They're gonna want someone to talk to anyway," Eastom said. "And 9 times out of 10 they're gonna end up telling you if something's going on with them, good or bad."
Eastom plans on inserting the "Cut It Out" training into the regular curriculum at C.C.'s.
"It means something to me," she said. "I don't want people to go through what I went through."
FOR MORE INFO ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND WHERE YOU CAN FIND HELP, CHECK OUT THE "MORE LINKS" LINKS TO THE RIGHT.
THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE IS 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)