Beauty Salon Training Project Raises Domestic Violence Awareness
October is Domestic
Violence Awareness Month
The first round of trainings to
help beauty salon operations identify domestic violence has been successful in
Washington Heights, even as the issue continues to be a concern for families
citywide. At the launch for the second round of training on October 3,
Children's Services Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Child Protection, Jan
Flory, noted that domestic violence is an underlying issue in many child
protection cases. "This program combines the best of what we have to offer
in keeping children and families safe," Flory said.
She noted that
providing services to women and children affected can be especially difficult
because women are reluctant to talk about domestic violence, and often feel
pressure to stay in an abusive situation because they depend on the batterer for
support. The salon initiative, run by Children's Services' Washington
Heights Family Preservation Program, keeps domestic violence in the
forefront and gives the social work interns who run the program the opportunity
to work with the community to build relationships, in addition to honing their
clinical skills, she said.
Kathy Ryan, NYPD Deputy Chief of
the Domestic Violence Unit, noted at the launch that reports of domestic
violence have declined in the last five years from approximately 69,000 reports
in 2002 to a little less than 55,000 in 2007. Over the same period,
intimate partner homicides had been cut in half from 41 to 20. Saying she
hoped to see the program grow beyond Washington Heights and throughout the City,
Deputy Chief Ryan said "domestic violence is a crime, and everyone is a victim
even if they do not experience it personally."
speaking at the launch event was Danielle Roundtree, Miss New York U.S.A 2008,
who revealed that her family experienced domestic violence which forced her
mother to leave home at the age of 12. She promised to use her reign to
raise awareness about domestic violence. Other representatives from the
NYPD present at the event were Deputy Inspector Andrew Capul, the Commanding
Officer of the 34th Precinct, which services the Washington Heights/Inwood
communities, Police Officer David Feldman of the Domestic Violence Unit, and
Police Officer Haydee Pabey of the 34th Precinct.
Site Director and Field Instructor of the Washington Heights Family Preservation
Program, said the program in its first year trained workers at 11 beauty salons
in the Washington Height/Inwood community, and has attracted additional
corporate support from Verizon, which this year is providing a $25,000 HopeLine
grant to support the project. AmeriGroup Community Care and Harlem-Dowling
Westside Center Respite Program, which helped launch the initiative, have
continued their support for the program which will train workers at an
additional four salons in the second round of training.
program has garnered international attention from other cities in the US
including New Jersey and Florida as well as internationally from counties
including the Dominican Republic and England.
initiative is part of the observation of October as Domestic Violence Awareness
month, and will train beauty salon owners and operators to identify warning
signs of domestic violence and provide domestic violence victims with safety planning assistance along with referrals to appropriate community resources. The Family Preservation Program field instructor /District Director and two Masters of Social Work interns will conduct domestic violence recognition training in the salons before the start of business hours. The three training sessions are offered in both English and Spanish. Salons have agreed to display posters specially designed for this project along with health and respite information to allow a woman to safely plan for her children.
The four new participating salons are Piscis Salon, by
Josephine Spa which hosted the event, Maria's 5 Star Unisex Salon, Nagle Unisex
and Amperio Unisex all located on Nagle Avenue in Washington Heights
Manhattan. If you or someone you know is in an abusive
relationship, call NYC's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE
(4673) TTY: 1-800-810-7444 or 3-1-1 for general City services
information. Callers receive immediate assistance, including crisis
counseling, safety planning and referrals.