If you have a favorite hairdresser, there is a good chance that you have shared more with her—or him—than what color you prefer or styles that you would like to try. In fact, according to some stylists, women are often at their most vulnerable at a salon and perfectly willing to talk about nearly anything. Sometimes, “anything” may include anecdotes of abusive behavior by a spouse or intimate partner, possibly leaving the hairdresser at a loss about how to help. Thanks to a new law in Illinois, however, stylists, nail technicians, and other licensed beauty professionals will be required to undergo training regarding domestic violence before their licenses can be renewed.
The measure has been in the works for well over a year and was signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner this past August. The legislation provides amendments to the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985, specifically as it applies to the renewal of licenses for appropriate professionals. Licensed beauty professionals are typically required to participate in continuing education programs, and the updated law requires at least one hour of such education to be dedicated to domestic violence awareness and support. If a licensed professional does not complete the required training, his or her license may not be renewed by the state. The same training will also be required for a professional seeking a first-time license.
Identifying Warning Signs and Supporting Victims
The new law does not make hairdressers or cosmetologists mandated reporters. Instead, it seeks to provide resources and tools to beauty professionals to pass along to their clients if and when the need arises. Beyond the intimate sharing that often goes on in a salon, hairdressers and cosmetologists are also likely to see signs of bruising and scars, particularly along the hairline or on the scalp, places that could otherwise hide the signs of abuse.
In passing the law, lawmakers hoped to increase support and resources available to victims of domestic violence. Beauty professionals who report signs of abuse are offered protection from civil lawsuits by the new measure, even though reporting is not mandatory. The law is set to take effect on January 1, 2017.
We Can Help
Victims of domestic violence and abuse often feel isolated and out of options, but our compassionate Kane County family law attorneys are here to provide valuable assistance. If you have been victimized by a family member or intimate partner, contact our office today for a free consultation. We will help you find the security and peace of mind you need to move forward into a happier, safer new reality.