Training Salon Professionals to Help Domestic Violence Victims

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DECATUR – From styling hair weekly for some people and maybe biweekly for others, hair stylists build meaningful relationships with their clients. It is safe to say, many stylists know all of their client’s business, some good and others worth reaching out for outside help.

"You do get to know people's personal business and you learn overtime how to deal with that," said Rebecca Wright the Owner of Shear Learning Academy

One bill is aimed at joining forces with stylists and domestic violence counselors. House Bill 4264 states that a barber, cosmetologist, esthetician, hair braider, or nail technician seeking a license must be trained on how to deal with domestic violence victims.

"This provides a way for women who may be victims of domestic assault or domestic abuse to have a resource in someone who does their hair," said State Representative Avery Bourne of the 95th District. "This is a bill that does not include state funding. . . ‘Chicago Says No More,’ which is a private group, wants to fund it and wants to work with Illinois to make the program."

In the past, the 'Cut It Out' program helped to build “awareness and train salon professionals to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients, colleagues, friends and family to local resources.” It is still going on around the U.S. However, some salons in Decatur have stopped the program. Now, new legislation aiming to get to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk is similar to the ‘Cut It Out’ program.

Teri Ducy from DOVE, Inc., a domestic violence organization, she said this approach has potential to be a life saver.

"A certain way when they were washing their hair if the victim tends to flinch because of pain there might be places on her head bruised or cut," is how salon professionals can pinpoint a victim.

Bourne said, this program will be funded in total by ‘Chicago Says No More.’

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