Purple Flower hopes salons can help fight domestic abuse

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Purple Flower is planning to work with hair and nail salons in Carroll County to get information on domestic violence to anyone who needs it.

Linda Maiella, who works with the domestic violence resource center, said she read an article about how salon workers could be trained to be sensitive to domestic violence. When women go to the salon, Maiella said, they're more likely to open up about their personal life.

"It's a place to tell your story, and if the salon worker is not aware of resources available, she could be a good ear to listen, but we want to take it a step further and have people that do your hair or do your nails not only be good listeners but offer information on how someone could get help," Maiella said.

She said she is working with the volunteers at The Purple Flower to distribute information to local salons, saying she hopes the salons are open to putting a sticker on their door with the Carroll County Safety Network's phone number.

"The more places we have that visible, the more ways a woman can spot it and call for help if she needs it," Maiella said. "It's just a simple idea to touch base with as many local beauty salons as we can."

Calling that number, she said, will connect a person in need with a trained advocate. Maiella said the Carroll County Safety Network does its best to connect survivors of domestic violence with shelters but pointed out that it's becoming difficult to do this. Carroll County doesn't have a domestic violence shelter, Maiella said, and other counties don't have very many vacancies in theirs.

"Shelters are full, but we can at least try to get someone to a safe place while we track down some better accommodations," Maiella said. "It's just something that our community needs to grow in awareness of the serious problem of domestic violence in our country."

Before The Purple Flower was established, Maiella said, there were no resources available for those in Carroll County who were in abusive situations. Awareness is the resource center's number one goal, she said. Maiella pointed out that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, saying the salon initiative is a way to increase awareness countywide. Another way she's doing this, Maiella said, is by sending a letter to all the churches in Carroll County.

"It's just to let each of the churches in the area to know that we're here to help in any way with any of their people that go to their church," Maiella said. "They may need some support. This is something people don't like to talk about, but we're taking a step and we're going to send these letters out to introduce ourselves and the resources we offer."

If any business owners would like to work with The Purple Flower, Maiella encouraged them to do so. She said it's important for everyone in the community to support the survivors of domestic violence.

"We would be happy to take your call and to meet any requests for information," she said. "We'd love that. That would be great. We need to be as visible as possible in the community, so that wherever a woman finds herself when she is in trouble, it would be easy for her to find help."

The Purple Flower is located across from the courthouse in Berryville. For more information, call the office at 479-981-1676.

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