New Law in Illinois Requires Hairstylists to Watch for Domestic Violence.

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Starting January 1, 2017, hairstylists will be required by law to have special training on how to handle conversations about sexual assault and domestic violence. This law extends to cosmetologists, aestheticians, hair braiders, nail technicians, and barbers. Under this new law, the state’s 88,000 licensed beauty professionals are expected to take an hour-long course designed to teach them to recognize signs of domestic abuse, how to address the issue, and how to navigate the conversation around domestic abuse. Although, the new law does not require stylists to report these incidents to the authorities, advocates hope that this new training will allow the safe space for the client to discuss the issue with the hairstylist, and ultimately become conscious of the problem and how to seek help.

 

Legislators worked closely with Chicago Says No, a non-for-profit organization that works to develop laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. This new law also stems from the increase in domestic violence cases in Illinois. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority reported an increase of 99,795 offenses from the year before. By learning more about the signs for domestic violence, and the resources available, hairstylists will be able to help victims though these difficult and often dangerous situations. Supporters of this law are considering extending this type of training to other occupations such as bartenders.

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