Hair-Raising Talk

Beauticians Empowered to Fight Domestic Abuse




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An amendment to a law that governs the cosmetology industry in Illinois recognizes that the relationship between hairdressers and their customers may help curb domestic abuse and sexual assault. Salon workers are required to take one hour of training every two years to know the signs and provide resources to help clients. Without the training, cosmetologists, hairstylists, nail technicians and aestheticians will not be able to renew their licenses.

Angela Smith, a Chicago hairstylist, has heard many whispers of mistreatment by spouses or partners, of being choked, chased or emotionally abused. “Everybody doesn’t talk, but once you build a relationship, it comes up,” she says.

The law does not require salon workers to act on their suspicions, but helps them to recognize warning signs and be equipped to pass along helpful information. Available support includes hotlines, safe houses, restraining orders and access to legal professionals.


For more information, visit ChicagoSaysNoMore.org.


This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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