Salon workers can be intimate with their clients' lives and bodies in a unique way that makes them aware of possible domestic violence.
"People tell us things that they don't tell anyone else," said Mary Wilson, a senior stylist at Soto Loft and Signature Spa in Perrysburg.
She also gets an up-close view of people's scalps and can see or feel injuries hidden by hair. A massage therapist or aesthetician may see bruising on someone's back or injuries in pubic areas, abuse easily covered by clothing.
And since they see clients regularly, they can tell differences in mood and conversation that may indicate problems, said Victoria Gaskins, co-owner of the spa.
"There's the emotional part of abuse too," she said.
Soto will be donating proceeds from its Favorite Things event Dec. 3 at the salon to Cut It Out, a program of the national Salons Against Domestic Abuse Fund.
Cut It Out builds awareness of domestic abuse and trains salon professionals to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients to local resources, according to its web site at cutitout.org.
The effort was spurred by the tragic incident Oct. 21 when a gunman who wanted to kill his estranged wife entered a Milwaukee-area salon in Brookfield, Wis., where she worked and killed three women and wounded four others before committing suicide, Ms. Gaskins said.
Raising awareness of domestic violence also was important to the salon's founder, Denise Soto, said Leah Wilson, spa co-owner.
"Denise Soto was first to open our eyes to domestic violence and brought in educators from the YW to help us learn the signs. Denise was able to see how we could play an important roll in helping or saving someone's life," Ms. Wilson said.
Favorite Things will bring several local artists and vendors to the salon and spa's annual holiday open house, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the salon, 580 Craig Drive, in the Perrys Junction Shopping Center in Perrysburg.
Soto retail products and services will be available at discounted prices, and guest businesses include: Cake Bite Co., ECK Homegoods, Grill Daddy's Spices and Rubs, Heavens Gate Candles, Illuminations Glass Art, Miss Mercedes, Mode Elle Boutique, Purse Love, Savvy Dog Boutique and Pet Spa, Scoots, and V Couture.
For information, contact the salon at 419-872-5555.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.