Starting January 1, 2017, licensed hairdressers in the state of Illinois will be required to get training to help identify signs of domestic violence. This is the first state to have a law of this kind.
According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 5 women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And it turns out salon professionals are a much better resource to help fight the fight against it than you’d think.
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The Professional Beauty Association, which runs its own abuse awareness campaign called Cut It Out, points out that salon professionals are in a unique position, as the salon may be one of the few places the abused is allowed to go without her abuser. And while they may not go to police or family, they do usually talk to someone they trust. “Because salon professionals are skilled and experienced listeners who are personally interested in those around them, many victims suffering from abuse feel comfortable confiding in them.”
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The training will be one-hour class stylists take every two years, when they get their licensed renewed. During these classes, stylists will learn how to identify inconsistencies such as “tender spots on the scalp that are unexplainable or bruising along the hairline.”
While the law does not require stylists to report any signs of abuse, it does protect them from lawsuits if they do in fact report it to the police, reports local news channel WQAD.
Family Resources director Brittney Delp told the outlet, “I think it’s a really good first step. One of the biggest things is having someone that supports you and believes you and senses that something’s going on.”
Illinois hairdressers will now be skilled in hair cuts, colors, and saving lives.
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