HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – The Branches Domestic Violence Shelter launched a new community-training campaign called “Style It In Violet.”

This campaign helps hair stylists spot signs of domestic violence.

“Stylists are in a completely unique position to identify domestic violence indicators. even though we’re not seeing it as much in the open, it’s still happening, and this is – we think – a great way to combat that,” explained Sara Blevins, the Director of Development for Branches.

She says following the peak of COVID-19 keeping people inside, more women are in those domestic violence situations and those signs could be staring people right in the face.

“They may be able to get close to someone and see bruising around their neck and shoulders or bald spots – things that might indicate that there may have been some physical violence. They also have this incredible relationship with their clients. So, we think they are in an incredibly unique position to be able to help domestic violence victims and we want to help them do that,” Blevins continued.

During Sunday’s launching event they explained other signs could be isolation, bruising, or unexplained injuries. 

They also went over what stylists should and shouldn’t do when approached with those types of situations and stylists – after the event – say they now feel more prepared should a situation ever arise.

“You don’t expect it to be in so many different ways. Your most common is physical and emotional – but just to break it down kind of helped explain how we can be prepared if it does come into our salon,” said Madison Powell, a cosmetologist with the Jewel City Salon.

The organization says they look forward to expanding and working with any salon interested across the state.