The world is filled with some truly garbage monsters. But there are also so many good souls who walk among us. A barber in Connecticut shared a post on Instagram, telling the story of a domestic abuse survivor who came to him for help. The pictures are difficult to see, and her story is absolutely heartbreaking. But it’s a story that needs to be told.
Andy Mendoza was working at Fresh Factory when Chelsea walked in. They talked as he worked on her hair, and she told him her story of surviving domestic abuse. She gave him permission to share her story.
“So today I received a visit from a beautiful soul who went through an awful experience. A coward tried to take her life and in the process cut and pulled her hair out!” When she first arrived, Andy jokingly asked her if she’d been in a fight. Her response was chilling: “My boyfriend tried to kill me.”
Chelsea was found by police, sleeping in her car in a commuter parking lot. She had black eyes, cuts, bruises, and hair missing from a large portion of her head.
She identified her boyfriend, 22-year old Michael Truskauskas, as the person who inflicted the injuries. The police report that was filed says Truskauskas “strangled her, threatened her with a knife, pushed her down the stairs, tried to break her fingers, and cut off a section of her hair after he accused her of cheating.”
Andy says that when Chelsea arrived, he initially tried to talk her into wearing a wig while she regrew her hair, since she had already been through so much trauma. But Chelsea insisted on shaving her head, for a new start and to embrace the length of her remaining hair. So Andy went to work.
They decided on a pixie-style cut for her hair to grow into. But for the time being, they went with a full-shave and design.
Andy said, “The actual cutting of her hair was very tense for everyone,’ said Andy. ”˜The few barbers that remained were watching in silence, you could hear a pin drop.” He continued, “I kept a positive energy going because I knew what was done, was done. And she needed help.”
Andy said that Chelsea smiled as soon as she looked up and saw her new hair. Everyone in the shop complimented her facial structure, and said things to make her happy. She gave Andy permission to share her story, and says that she’s just happy to be alive.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please know that there is help out there for you. The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is open 24-hours a day, and can get you the help you need to get out. You can visit the website, or call 1-800-799-7233. You don’t have to suffer in silence.