EAST MANATEE -- The stylists at di Moda Salon say their clients sometimes tell them heart-breaking stories of domestic violence.
"The stories I have heard are off the chart. It's horrible," said Stacey McLellan, a stylist at di Moda Salon, 5901 53rd Ave. E.
The problem is so pervasive that, even though a person may not have experienced domestic violence, they probably know someone who has.
"We all have a connection to domestic violence," McLellan said.
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The stylists at di Moda Salon are donating their skills 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday to raise money for sur
vivors of domestic violence. And maybe as importantly, to raise awareness about the problem.
The benefit, called Cut It Out Cut-a-Thon, will offer shampoo, conditioning, cut and style for $20, with all proceeds donated to assist survivors as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The salon will also be collecting cell phones to assist survivors.
Francine Rainey, owner of di Moda Salon, said normally the business is closed on Monday, but all the stylists volunteered for 12-hour shifts to help the cause.
"We have such a great team here. Everyone has put their heart and soul into this," Rainey said.
Walk-ins are welcome and will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those who assist domestic violence survivors say more public awareness and the willingness to step up to help are necessary.
Too often, those being assaulted are not calling anyone for help, said Laurel Lynch, executive director of Hope Family Services Inc.
Hope Family Services is a not-for-profit in Bradenton that provides shelter and services to survivors of domestic violence.
"Ninety-five percent of people killed in a domestic homicide had not previously sought help," Lynch said.
Domestic violence is one of those subjects people are often uncomfortable talking about. They may even try to ignore it.
"If you see a neighbor being abused, don't turn away," Lynch said.
Instead, make a call to local law enforcement.
Also helping with the Monday benefit are local businesses that contributed raffle and prize items. Manatee Technical Institute cosmetology students will help prep clients for the stylists.
Proceeds will be donated to Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center in Sarasota.
For more information about the cut-a-thon, call di Moda Salon at 941-755-5339.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter at @jajones1.