HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Student stylists at the Advanced Career Education Center at Highland Spring High School spent Thursday giving domestic violence victims a makeover and opening dialog about abusive relationships.
The students said they wanted to put the spotlight on an issue that affects so many women and men in our community.
Maya Criss, a Highland Springs Junior, said she wanted to make sure the domestic violence survivors knew someone was there for them, despite their circumstances.
“Even at a young age, we all go through things and we want to feel loved too,” said Maya Criss, a Highland Springs Junior. “It makes me happy that we get to help people feel loved and we get to love on people that at one point in their lives weren't getting loved.”
While the students helped the domestic violence survivors look good and feel good with new hair styles and make-up, it was also a learning experience for them.
The women said they also used the opportunity to talk to the students about how domestic violence can affect young people.
Rosalyn Faines, who is domestic violence survivor, said she wanted to share her experiences to help the students in their own relationships.
“Some don’t recognize what violence is… You can be verbally violent,” she said. “They need to know that's not the way. Don't allow it early. Have respect for yourself. Go to a counselor, go to a friend.”
Faines said domestic violence is something that can happen to anyone. In her case, she said she was married to a drug addict who became violent.
“I knew that my dad and my mom raised me in a way that… I wasn’t abused, they weren’t abused… just wrong choices and relationships,” she explained.
She said going down that wrong path ultimately led her into human trafficking.
Faines said because of the relationship, she became also became a drug addict. She said her life changed when she escaped the relationship, moved to Virginia and entered rehab.
She is now an advocate for domestic violence survivors.
“It’s time that we become knowledgeable and pass it on to each other,” she added.