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Dana R. Hando is a recent college graduate with a degree in psychology who hopes to one day change the lives of women in abusive relationships.
After graduating college, Dana R. Hando has decided to take some time for herself before pursing her doctorate. This includes expanding her horizons through learning how to cook and traveling the world. In order to help fund those passions, Hando is helping her mother at her family-owned salon and beauty parlor. There, she is able to make money while making women feel beautiful. Her responsibilities at the beauty parlor include performing manicures and pedicures (as well as the additional luxuries available with those such as hot towel wraps, exfoliations and stone massages), waxing and, her favorite, makeup.
Doing a woman’s makeup or performing a free consultation to help her figure out what would look best on her is one of Dana R. Hando’s favorite things to do. This is because women who lack self-confidence will typically try to hide behind their makeup. Hando believes that all women should feel empowered by their natural beauty and will simply use the makeup to help accent a woman’s natural beauty. She believes that by teaching women how to properly use makeup and find the right products that work well with a woman’s skin, she is actually teaching them how to have more confidence in their appearance and therefore themselves. It might not be the psychological help that she someday hopes to provide women, but it is a good start. She also specializes in doing makeup for those moments where it just has to be absolutely perfect, such as for weddings and high school dances like prom.
While Dana R. Hando cannot say for sure that she always knew she would be graduating from college with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, she probably could have guessed. Her mother is a strong woman who acted as a role model for her while she was growing up. Her mother’s influence along with the influence of the many women she grew up around at her mother’s salon and beauty parlor led her to wanting to help women for a living. While that can be done in many ways, the most noble way is arguably to help those women in abusive relationships who cannot help themselves. That is why she earned her degree in psychology.
As stated before, Dana R. Hando believes she can help women believe in themselves through helping them with their outward appearances. She has learned how even making a woman’s finger nails and toe nails look better makes a woman leave the salon and beauty parlor with more confidence than she walked in with. Some women deal with unwanted facial hair or other particularly hairy body parts that can cause them to have little to no self-confidence whatsoever, but Hando and her mother help combat that through waxing the problem areas. Hando believes this setting in her childhood and seeing the women leave happier than they were when they came in led her to want to do something with her life that would make a difference in the lives of women everywhere.
Hando has always been the person her friends have gone to for help when they are having relationship problems. On more than one occasion, she has approached her friends and asked them about the relationships only to find out that her worst fears were true and that they were in abusive relationships. She has always been very perceptive about body language and the little things people do to hide bruises and scars and is able to pick up on the way people’s attitudes change when they are around loved ones who might be hurting them.
While she was in college, Dana R. Hando took many classes in psychology and learned a lot about the human mind. While a degree in psychology can lead to a lot of different opportunities, she knew where her heart was and started focusing on helping women. One way she was able to do that was to volunteer at the local women’s shelters around her college. What she learned there was more than any class could teach her.
Volunteering at a women’s shelter for those coming out of an abusive relationship was a gut-wrenching experience for Dana R. Hando. It was necessary, though, to see and hear about what these women truly experienced in their relationships. She learned a lot about how people can still feel irrational love and support of someone even as that person does nothing but harm them and break them down both mentally and physically. She invested a lot of time in listening to and helping these women, proving to be a person they could trust when they had previously lost hope in everything else.
While it is not a pretty subject, Dana R. Hando made it a point to learn all about battered person syndrome. It is similar to post traumatic stress disorder in its symptoms but has a specific name because of its necessity in legal cases. Many times, battered person syndrome has been used to justify or explain why a person murdered their abuser. She learned that symptoms that are associated with battered person syndrome are the abused believing the violence is his or her fault, the abused cannot put the blame for the violence on the abuser, the abused has an irrational fear that the abuser is all-knowing and all-powerful and the abused fears for the life of him or herself as well as any children that may be around.
With the heaviness and severity of dealing with abused women, Dana R. Hando found out it is important for her to have plenty of hobbies that can occupy her time and free her mind from the seriousness of what her future profession will saddle her with. She came up with three major passions: skydiving, traveling and cooking. Cooking is the one she has spent the most time on. This is out of passion for the hobby, of course, but also out of necessity. Cafeteria food gets old quick while at college and eating out every night didn’t prove to be in a student’s budget. If she was going to be cooking every night, she figured why not get creative and try new things?
Her Chinese roots have her working potstickers and rice noodles into just about every single meal, but she has learned many other traditional recipes from just about every culture around the world. She found herself losing hours on the weekends as she watches marathons on cooking networks, taking everything in to help her become the master chef she hopes to one day be.
As for traveling, Dana R. Hando has been to a few different places around the world. She has traveled to Europe, Asia and many places in the Caribbean after going on a few cruises. Her favorite part about travel was learning something about the local cuisine and finding at least one dish to bring home and try to create just like the locals did. So far, her favorite that she has replicated is a Mexican dessert of sautéed plantains in a caramel sauce.
Skydiving was exactly the rush she hoped it would be. Though she was disappointed by the need to spend hours on the ground learning the particulars and the emergency procedures, all of that frustration of wasted time went out the window and she jumped out of the plane with her instructor. She believes that skydiving is the ultimate rush and recommends it to anyone who is looking for the biggest thrill of their lives. Dana R. Hando realized after her first jump that she had found her definitive lifelong thrill.
Obviously, Dana R. Hando’s future involves a promising career in improving the lives of battered women and their children. She intends to get her doctorate degree and begin a practice where she can deal with these women one-on-one and help them escape their relationships and find help. She recognizes that may be difficult to do, however, and has a backup plan of educating everyone about domestic abuse.
The scary part about domestic abuse is the way it controls the lives of everyone involved, both the abuser and the abused. Dana R. Hando believes it is important to erase many of the myths that are taken for fact and hopes to become a public speaker on the issue. There are some myths that she plans on working her entire life toward dispelling for good. One of the biggest myths out there is that domestic abuse is caused by stress, a temporary loss of temper, or by substance abuse. While people need to get help with dealing with these issues, they are not the sole cause of abuse. Many people deal with stress, a bad temper and substance abuse every day but do not take their problems out on their loved ones.
Another myth she hopes to dispel is that battered women typically do something that will enrage their loved one and that they are the reason why they are being abused. This is not true, as many cases of domestic abuse will typically start out of nowhere. It is often because of the abuser’s problems, not the abused.
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