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accused, St. Charles family law attorneysTragically, domestic violence in the United States is shockingly common. It is estimated that 10 million women and men become victims of physical domestic abuse each year. This means that, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are abused by a significant other or a member of their family.

Domestic violence can cause not only bruises and scars but also years of psychological trauma. Some victims choose not to make public accusations against their abusive partner for fear of retaliation or because they are afraid to anger their abuser. Fortunately, victims of domestic violence now have more options than ever for escaping the abusive relationship and holding the perpetrator accountable.

Regrettably, this leads some people to falsely claim that they were abused by a romantic partner in order to gain power over him or her. Sometimes, the person who claims to be a victim is actually the one attempting to manipulate the other. This despicable behavior can put the accused at the risk of undeserved criminal consequences, career damage, and personal heartache. Allegations of abuse can also seriously complicate family law issues such as divorce, custody, or adoption.

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domestic violenceOutside the realm of education or child care, there are very few jobs in which it is considered socially and professionally acceptable for an individual to develop intimate personal relationships with his or her clients and customers. Of course, most jobs that involve interaction with the public involve some form of dialog between a worker and a customer, but the relationship between a hairdresser and his or her clients is one that can become very close over time. In many situations, the client becomes comfortable enough to share details about his or her life with a regular stylist—things that the client may not tell others. When such details involve allegations or hints of domestic abuse, hairdressers are frequently at a loss about how to help or what to say next. Thankfully, a new law in Illinois will give licensed beauty workers the tools they need to offer assistance to their clients who may have been the victims of domestic violence.

Joining the Fight

Last summer, the Illinois legislature passed a measure to amend the Illinois Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985 regarding training requirements for licensed workers in the beauty industry. The new law, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, requires all hairdressers, stylists, barbers, cosmetologists, and other licensed beauty professionals to undergo domestic violence awareness training before their licenses can be renewed. New licenses will not be issued until applicants complete the training as well.

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false domestic violence, Kane County family law attorneysAny allegation of domestic violence or abuse is a very serious matter. When a person has been victimized or feels threatened, he or she must take action to ensure his or her safety. Reporting incidents or threats of domestic abuse is also very important so that law enforcement and the justice system can directly address the problem. The systems in place to assist victims and would-be victims of domestic violence are designed to make seeking help as easy and efficient as possible. Unfortunately, however, unscrupulous individuals will sometimes attempt to use such resources and programs to cause problems for former spouses or partners by making false claims of domestic abuse. Fraudulently filing a claim of abuse can have severe consequences, as a woman in California recently discovered.

False Facebook Stalking Claims

During the fall of 2015, a 25-year-old woman in Lake Forest, California filed several reports with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department claiming that her ex-boyfriend had stalked and threatened her on Facebook, in violation of an existing restraining order. As a result, the man was arrested on four separate occasions in a four-month period. The woman testified at a preliminary hearing that she was the victim of cyberstalking and threats by her former romantic partner.

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hairdresser, Illinois family law attorneyIf 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 Law

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.

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Posted on in Domestic Violence

domestic violence, St. Charles domestic violence lawyersDo you live in fear of your spouse? Does the thought of him or her coming home after work or a night out with friends leave you feeling anxious and scared? Every day, domestic abuse hotlines across the country field approximately 20,000 calls from individuals who have been victimized by an abuser, often one who lives in the same home. Fear can be a paralyzing emotion and you may believe that there is nothing you can do about your situation. There are, however, options available to you that can help you find the safety and security that you deserve.

Find a Safe Place

When you are the victim of domestic violence, your abuser may have you convinced that everything is your fault and that there is nowhere for you to go. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody deserves to be abused for any reason, and your first step in protecting yourself is getting to a place of safety. Contact a friend or trusted family member and ask for help, no matter how guilty or humiliated you may feel about your predicament. Those who truly love you will provide the help you need. If you are far from family members or friends, there are also resources available in most communities, including here in Kane County.

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