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Domestic Violence and Hair Stylists?

 Posted on October 31, 2015 in Domestic Violence

hair stylists and domestic violence signs, Naperville family law attorneyOne of the most troubling aspects of domestic violence is that victims are often reluctant to report anything. Many domestic violence cases are never reported, leaving the victims to fend for themselves with no help. Victims do not report domestic violence or assaults for many reasons; fear of retaliation from their abusive spouse, fear of financial repercussions, or a fear of not being believed by authorities.

While the State of Illinois has many programs and institutions in place to help victims and families involved in cases of domestic violence, the help is only available to those who can ask for it. In an effort to help spread awareness and put information in the hands of domestic violence victims, Illinois lawmakers have introduced a new proposed law. Soon, hair stylists and barbers could be on the front lines of the fight against domestic violence.

Hair Stylists Intervening in Domestic Violence Issues

Proposed by State representative Fran Hurley, the new law would require barbers, hairdressers, and nail technicians to receive domestic violence and sexual assault training training, allowing them to identify domestic violence victims and provide them with information. The one hour training would be required each time a barber or hair dresser goes to renew their license, which is every two years. If passed, the training would likely be available online.

The bills creators stressed that the intent of the law is not to force salon workers into intervening into their clients' personal lives. Rather, they will be trained to identify victims, and simply provide them with information on different options. The State of Illinois has struggled with placing help in the hands of victims that need it, which lead the bills creators to think outside the box when drafting the proposed legislation. Domestic violence experts and community leaders spoke to the Chicago City Council’s Public Safety Committee, providing evidence that supports training beauticians.

The founder of the domestic violence awareness group Chicago Says No More, said that domestic violence and sexual assault victims are more likely to share personal information with a salon employee than they are with a law enforcement official. In addition to that, the founder said that for victims with extremely controlling spouses, a haircut or manicure may be the only time they have to share their situation. It was also stated that, on average, domestic violence victims only look for help after 35 incidents of abuse. The hope is that with proper training, stylists and barbers can provide solutions for victims in need.

Many officials supported the bill, which is still in it is early stages. The next step will be determining if it could work for Chicago, the State of Illinois, or potentially be the first in many similar laws put in place across the country.

Domestic Violence Lawyer in Naperville

If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. for help. Our Naperville family law attorneys can assist you with an order of protection. Call 630-352-2240 to speak with a qualified legal professional today.


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