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1470 WMBD: Law Helps Stylists Spot Domestic Violence

A new law requires domestic violence training for some cosmetologists.

Hairdressers and barbers will soon be required to take a one-time, one-hour course on domestic violence. The Center for Prevention of Abuse’s Carol Merna says these professionals are in the position to spot abuse.

“They might see bumps on the scalp, that sort of thing, bruising on the neck,” explains Merna, the center’s Executive Director.

Merna says the training teaches them to recognize signs of abuse and how to help their customers.

“They can learn the signs and then what they can do to provide resources to their client,” she explained.

Cosmetologists, barbers, nail technicians and almost anyone in the industry is required to undergoing the training.

“They are often times closer to their clients than a lot of people, even good friends,” Merna said. “It’s still being flushed out by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation right now, but we hope to play a role here at the center. We would love to be able to provide training locally.”

Even with the training, cosmetologists won’t be pressured to report signs of domestic violence.

“I don’t think we want to force this group because their training won’t be extensive,” Merna said. “But they’ll be able to have comfortable conversations and say here is a place you can reach out to.”

The continuing education requirement rule will not apply to September 2017 licensure renewals, but will be in effect for September 2019.