Photo Credit: Malibu Vista
One in three women experience violence at the hands of a partner in their lifetime, according to WHO. Although there are resources available for women suffering from domestic violence, they might not always be known or accessible to those who truly need them.
Starting January 1, 2017, all 88,000 beauty salon workers in Illinois will receive training on domestic abuse prevention. This includes licensed hairstylists, nail technicians, cosmetologists, etc. The training will be one hour long and will help salon workers identify signs of domestic violence and sexual assault. Moving forward, one hour of domestic violence training will be required in order to renew a beauty technician's license.
This new law stems from a successful program initiated in Birmingham, Alabama called CUT IT OUT®, which trained salon professionals to recognize warning signs of domestic violence and safely refer women to local resources.
Why does it work? Well, salon professionals are really in a unique position to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse in their clients. Often having a close relationship with their clients, salon workers can typically spot signs of physical and emotional abuse that others may never see.
Research has shown that most victims of domestic abuse never call the police or leave their partner for a shelter. However, these women do usually talk about the abuse with someone they trust. Since salon workers are excellent listeners, many women suffering from abuse feel comfortable confiding in them. For an abused woman, the salon may be an ideal environment to seek out help because it may be one of the few places she is allowed to go without her abuser.
This new law in Illinois is a step in the right direction. With the state’s provision of proper training on how to recognize the signs of abuse and safely refer victims to help, salon professionals can play an important role in the fight against domestic abuse.