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A local hair salon uses hair extensions to raise awareness for sexual violence Submitted: 04/20/2017
Erin Beu
Erin Beu
Reporter/Anchor
ebeu@wjfw.com

A local hair salon uses hair extensions to raise awareness for sexual violence
PHILLIPS - Embrace Sexual Violence Program Coordinator Becky Steinbach says the Northwoods has the highest sexual violence rate in the entire state.

"I think it's a hidden crime still," Steinbach says. "I think that we want to believe that this is not going on. But it is. We know the numbers; we see it happening at such a high rate."


Steinbach says people no longer pay attention to awareness ribbons. Therefore, Embrace teamed up with SaLona Head to Toe Salon in Philips to use teal-colored hair extensions instead of ribbons to raise awareness about the problem.

"We thought it would be a good partnership, especially because people come in and they talk to their stylist… they tell them their stories," said Steinbach.

Stylist Josie Teeters says the extensions can't be ignored, and she hopes sexual violence won't be either. 

"It's bright!" Teeters says of the hair extensions. "I mean, it's right in your face when you're talking to someone. They can't ignore it."  

Owner of SaLona Lona Kempen says it's more than just a piece of hair.

"I had a co-worker whose mom was shot and killed and she was abused. She went through a horrific situation," said Kempen.

Steinbech has seen more sexual violence cases this year in Price County than in all of 2016. However, she hopes this awareness will help.

"We're hoping that it's not an increased issue, but that people are just more aware now and are reporting it more often," said Steinbech.

In 2016, Embrace provided supportive services to 372 sexual assault survivors, a 68 percent increase compared to 2015.


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