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Attorney General Terry Goddard Kicks Off CUT IT OUT, a New Domestic Violence Awareness Program

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 15, 2005)  Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology have formed a new partnership to combat domestic violence.  The CUT IT OUT program will be unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday - April 20 at 9 a.m.  The press conference will be held at Rolf’s Salon, 8787 N. Scottsdale Road in the Shops at Gainey Village in Scottsdale.  This national outreach program draws on the cosmetology community’s unique skills and access to women by providing salon professionals training and information to assist domestic violence victims in getting help.

“The CUT IT OUT program provides us with a critical link to domestic violence victims through salon professionals,” Goddard said.  “One of our biggest challenges in combating domestic violence is connecting with victims.  Partnering with the cosmetology community helps bridge that gap and allows law enforcement to get program information to victims who are often afraid to seek help or do not know where to turn.”

The goal of CUT IT OUT is to build awareness of domestic violence through posters and brochures displayed in salons.  Salon professionals will also be trained to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients to get help. The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence will conduct training sessions at Arizona’s 43 cosmetology schools and hair shows.

“This is an exciting new partnership because women are likely to visit a hair salon more often than a healthcare professional,” said Leah Meyers, Director of Domestic Violence Services, Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  “Partnering with salon professionals provides us with an additional opportunity to get information to women who are experiencing abuse.” 

The Arizona State Board of Cosmetology will distribute informational materials to approximately 4,500 salons in Arizona. Salon professionals see on average 100-200 clients a month.  Men and women tend to form relationships with their cosmetologists, often confiding in them.

“As professionals on the ‘front lines,’ stylists may be able to spot early warning signs, and be a vital link to victims who don’t know where to turn," said Sue Sansom, Executive Director of the Arizona Board of Cosmetology.

“The program is not training counselors,” said Jennifer Jaquess, spokesperson for the national CUT IT OUT program.  “Cosmetologists are experienced listeners who will be given the tools to simply refer potential victims to help.”

Salons across Arizona can participate, and owners like Rolf Lohse are partnering with the Attorney General’s Office and the Board of Cosmetology to ensure this program is successful.

“The power of touch and the care that a stylist takes to make his or her client look great create an intimate bond,” said Lohse, owner of Rolf’s Salon.  "I believe the CUT IT OUT program provides stylists with great information they can give their clients in critical times."

Participating in CUT IT OUT is easy.  People can contact the Office of the Arizona Attorney General at (602) 542-6903 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.