With ‘Cut It Out’ JFS Brings Domestic Violence Awareness to the Salon

Since 2018, JFS Hope, JFSLA’s domestic violence program, has partnered with the Professional Beauty Association to facilitate “Cut It Out” program presentations for stylists and cosmetology students in Los Angeles County. Cut It Out is a program dedicated to raising awareness about domestic abuse and empowering salon and spa professionals to “recognize, respond, and refer” when they learn their clients may be in abusive relationships. While a certain amount of domestic violence education is now required of cosmetology students to receive their state license in California, Cut It Out programming goes beyond the curriculum to help students learn the potential life-saving warning signs of an abusive relationship that a client may be experiencing, and gives them the tools they need to interact with clients who may be reaching out for help.

Hair stylists and salon workers are often privy to hearing personal information from their clients and in recognizing this special relationship, there has been a nationwide push to put salon professionals at the front lines of domestic violence advocacy. “Since a stylist may only see their client once every few weeks, they may be the ‘safe’ person for a client to disclose any abuse that may be happening at home,” said Kitty Glass, JFS Hope Community Outreach Coordinator. “The Cut It Out program enables the stylist to recognize abuse, as well as respond to the needs of the client by making a local referral for support if requested.”

JFS Hope’s Kitty Glass, along with Hannah Lainer, has been presenting the course to cosmetology schools, programs, and independent salons across Los Angeles, including Paul Mitchell, Toni & Guy, Vidal Sassoon, Pasadena City College, Santa Monica College, Fullerton College, and more with materials provided by the Professional Beauty Association. Traditionally, these presentations were done in person, but due to the pandemic they are now presented via Zoom. According to Kitty, the online option is expanding participation, reaching many more stylists and students who otherwise would have missed the opportunity. As an example, just a few weeks ago she presented to over 200 students from Fullerton College.

Stylist and student feedback about the Cut It Out program has been outstanding, according to Kitty. She says that many who take the course have themselves been survivors of abusive relationships and are glad to be learning how they can help their clients. The program also helps to spread the word about JFS Hope, which offers counseling, shelter, crisis hotlines, and comprehensive support to individuals experiencing domestic violence.

“It has been an incredible experience presenting the Cut It Out program to stylists and cosmetology students,” said Kitty Glass. “We have received several calls for counseling after doing these presentations, so we know that this program is invaluable to the cosmetology community it serves.”

Since its inception, JFS Hope has presented to over 1,000 students and already has several more presentations scheduled for the 2022 semester.

To learn more about JFS Hope, please click here.