Of the 4,700,00 women who are abused by a partner each year, only 34 percent seek medical attention and only 25 percent report the abuse to police.
Victims are reluctant to report their abusers for various reasons, including the potential loss of financial support, the possibility of further attacks if abuse is reported and the disruption of their family lives. Sometimes it is just a matter of not knowing where to turn.
In an effort to provide victims of abuse with information regarding resources and tools available to them in the community, Governor Rauner recently signed a bill that requires licensed beauty professionals to take a course regarding domestic abuse and assault to include helpful information that can be passed along to customers.
Supporters of the new law believe that hairdressers and cosmetologists are in a unique position to help victims of domestic violence because their clients often feel more comfortable sharing personal information with them they might not disclose to family and friends.
Many salon managers and owners agree. They understand the close relationship that many clients build with their employees over time and believe the training will be beneficial. “We’re not only hairdressers; we feel like counselors, psychologists,” said one manager from Crystal Lake. A McHenry salon owner concurs, noting that “even if it helps one person, its worth the time and training”.
The state initiative to mandate domestic violence and sexual assault training for professional salon employees is the first-of-its-kind in the nation and many hope it is the starting point for more community involvement regarding the important issue. The law will go into effect January 1, 2017.
At the family law offices of Ronald L. Bell & Associates P.C. , we represent all clients involved in domestic violence situations. We understand how devastating domestic violence can be to you and your family, and we are committed to helping ensure a safe future for all involved. Contact us today at 847-495-6000.
Sources: The Chicago Tribune, “Law Would Order Domestic Violence Training for Stylists”, by Phil Kadner, October 26, 2015. & Northwest Herald, “New Law Requires Salon Workers in Illinois Get Domestic Violence Training”, by Sarah Nader, November. 21, 2016.