LA STAMPA

Latter-Day Lord Jim: The Demons That Will Follow Concordia Captain Schettino

Essay: As the death toll climbs in Italy's cruise ship disaster, Concordia captain Francesco Schettino must answer charges that he abandoned his post in the hour of greatest need. It's a tale as old as the sea itself, where courage or fe

Schettino interviewed three days after the accident (ITN)
Schettino interviewed three days after the accident (ITN)
Pierangelo Sapegno

Maybe Capitain Francesco Schettino will spend the rest of his life as Lord Jim did. The captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which crashed and capsized off the coast of Tuscany, might end up moving from one place to the next in a futile attempt to escape the demons of shame and regret.

In Joseph Conrad's novel, Lord Jim, the captain fled on a lifeboat, abandoning his ship in a storm. Put on trial and degraded, he escaped with his dishonor without being able to forgive himself for his own mistakes, only finding redemption at the end in a faraway land. In movies and novels, characters tend to ultimately demonstrate their heroism at the end. Francesco Schettino will have to face his own ghosts. But as it was for Lord Jim, nothing will ever be the same.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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