New Law Requires Domestic Violence Training for Hairdressers, Cosmetologists

Men and women alike tend to share fairly intimate details of their lives with the individuals who cut their hair. The nostalgic image of men sitting in a barbershop chatting about any number of topics is almost timeless and still, to an extent, exists today. Similarly, women are often not afraid to talk about their lives with their hairdressers and nail technicians, frequently revealing extremely personal details. In some cases, such details include accounts of domestic violence and domestic partner abuse, potentially leaving the beautician at a loss regarding how to help. Thanks to new legislation passed last month, hair stylists and other licensed beauty technicians will now be required to undergo domestic violence training so they can provide assistance to clients facing such issues.

Meeting Victims Where They Are

In mid-August, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure that amends the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985. Beginning January 1, 2017, all licensed individuals working in the beauty service industry will be required to complete at least one hour of continuing education specifically regarding domestic abuse before their licenses can be renewed. The training will address domestic violence and sexual assault awareness, and provides each participant information and resources to pass along to clients who may have been victimized.

One of the bill’s sponsors in the State Senate was Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents the 18th District in Chicago. Senator Cunningham said that his wife used to work as a hairdresser and that clients would tell her stories about being victims of domestic violence. “Unfortunately,” Cunningham said in a press release, “she didn’t have the knowledge or resources needed to help them.” The new law, he went on to say, will ensure that beauty workers will have the tools they need when someone turns to them for assistance.

Protecting Yourself

If you or someone you love have been the victim of domestic abuse, there are a number of steps you can take, but your first priority must be your physical safety. You may wish to file for an order of protection before taking any other action to help keep your abuser away from you. Once your safety is secured, you can take more permanent steps to protect your family, such as filing for divorce or amending child custody orders or parenting plans.

To learn more about your options and the resources available to you, contact an experienced Orland Park family law attorney. Our compassionate team is here to help you through your most difficult time, offering the representation you deserve and the peace of mind you deserve. Call 708-518-8200 for a free consultation at Kezy & Associates today.