Master of Social Work students are training hair stylists to recognize signs of domestic abuse

A group of Master of Social Work students in the Advanced Communities Class taught by Lecturer Elizabeth Cruz, are empowering hair stylists to help victims of domestic violence.

Their class project is entitled Unmasked: Beyond the Chair. Their project is aimed to help and prepare beauty professionals identify victims of domestic abuse and provide them with community resources and support.

“I am very proud of the students in the Advanced Communities Class,” said Cruz, who presented the idea of the community project to her students.

“After I presented the idea, the students just ran with it,” said Cruz.  “The goal is to empower beauty professionals to provide individuals who experience domestic violence an additional layer of support,” she further explained.   “We are mobilizing students to making a real impact in the community.”

The class will host a community forum for beauticians and the public next month, on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at New Life Ministries of San Antonio to educate beauty professionals on signs of domestic violence and to raise awareness about domestic abuse. The community will have a chance to learn valuable resources and ways to provide support to victims of domestic violence.

The students are currently raising funds to present a training program for local beauticians that will teach them the necessary skills and tools to help clients who may be victims of domestic abuse.  “We believe this curriculum can be a very powerful tool because of the relationship between beauticians and their clients,” said Devon Bailey, master of social work student in the advanced communities course.

“This curriculum would help victims of domestic violence by allowing them to share intimate conversations, often uncomfortable, and connect them to resources so they know they aren’t alone,” explained Bailey.

“For a person experiencing intimate partner violence, just knowing they have another ally in their corner could make a huge difference.”

If you would like to help the UTSA Social Work Community Practice class diminish the cycle of domestic violence, visit to donate toward their initiative.

Click here to read the full story on Spectrum News.

Click here to see the video on KENS-5.

Community forum for beauticians flyer