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Empire Education Group Announces National Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign

'Empire Gives Back' supporting 'CUT IT OUT'

The nation's largest system of corporate owned cosmetology schools, Empire Education Group, has launched a multi-platform campaign called "Empire Gives Back" to support CUT IT OUT.

The program will benefit nearly 90 communities across the country. CUT IT OUT teaches salon professionals to recognize signs of domestic abuse and safely refer those clients to people and resources that can help them.

"As one of this country's leading educators of the next generation of hairstylists, Empire is perfectly positioned to support CUT IT OUT by teaching our more than 11,000 students per year about domestic violence and how to respond when clients are suffering from abuse," said Franklin K. Schoeneman, CEO and Chairman of Empire Education Group. "But we are not stopping at education. We are dedicated to truly making an impact by promoting public awareness of this issue, which is so often hidden from view. Each of our 87 schools will be raising money, supporting women's shelters and helping women learn how to get the help they need."

CUT IT OUT was born because women often develop very close relationships with their hairdressers based on trust. Some even confide to their stylists about abuse at home, rather than their friends and family. CUT IT OUT strives to make sure such stylists know what to do with such frightening knowledge. And Empire is setting out to support this effort by educating its own stylists-in-training on the subject, as well as raising awareness and funds for the cause.

"We salute Empire Education Group and their commitment to spreading awareness to help break the cycle of domestic violence in America. It's a powerful statement about the organization's compassion and community service," said Dianne Mooney, Founder of the CUT IT OUT program. "All of us at CUT IT OUT are grateful that Empire Gives Back has embraced our educational program in service to victims of violence. Cosmetology students are all in a unique and powerful position to spread the word that there's no excuse for abuse."

Empire has worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Office on Violence Against Women to launch a comprehensive platform, which includes enhanced student training, public awareness and education efforts, fundraising, victim support, public service announcements, media outreach and an online campaign. Following is an overview of the specific elements of the initiative:

Empire will coordinate a national roll out of the CUT IT OUT program to all of its 87 schools across the country. CUT IT OUT instructional sessions will be brought into each of Empire's cosmetology schools reaching more than eleven-thousand students annually.

Empire schools will work with the US Attorney's Office to adopt a local domestic violence support organization within proximity to each Empire school. Empire will offer support with local student fundraising events as well as provide no-charge services to women who are in these shelters.

Clients seeking support from each "Adopted" domestic violence support organization will also become eligible to receive financial assistance to attend any Empire Beauty School in the country. Quantitatively this educational aid could reach up to half-million dollars per year.

All Empire schools will participate in the Empire Education Group National Day of Beauty, on October 11th. On this day, all monies generated from services and sales in all 87 student salons will be donated to a local shelter in the community where the school is located. Empire will also devise an incentive program to generate excitement and support among students, educators and school officials for additional local fundraising efforts year-round.

A dedicated website www.empiregivesback.com has been created to offer information about domestic violence, promote awareness for the national campaign, CUT IT OUT and to direct those in need to people, resources and organizations that can provide help. It will also highlight local student events that benefit the cause, as well as raise funds online by selling specially designed items, which will also be available in Empire's student salons across the country.

For more information and a complete listing of all schools under the Empire Education Group name, please visit: www.empire.edu

For more information on the CUT IT OUT program, please visit http://www.cutitout.org/ .

Source: Empire Education Group
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 6, 2008 /PRNewswire/ --

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