First-of-its-kind law requires salon workers in Illinois to get domestic violence training

A new Illinois law will require cosmetologists to get training to identify domestic abuse and assault. (Credit: KMOV)

SPRINGFIELD, IL. (KMOV.COM) --- It is a new fight against domestic abuse from a place you might not expect, the hair salon. Employees will soon be getting training in order to identify signs of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

"I think you become a stylist because you want to help people feel and look their best," said Derek Fatheree.

For over a decade, Fatheree has done just that for his clients at Pure Natur Salon & Spa in Fairview Heights, Ill.

"For the guest that comes into the salon, they aren't used to being touched by a stranger. They don't go to a grocery store and get touched by people. I think that really helps facilitate that special bond," he said.

It is that special bond that creates relationships.

"Once we get to know someone a couple of weeks, couple of years, they really start to open up to us and they talk to us like they would talk to a friend or family member," said Fatheree.

That's where House Bill 4264 comes into play. It amends the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding and Nail Technology Act of 1985.

Starting Jan. 1, licensed beauty professionals will have to take an hour long course every two years in domestic abuse and sexual assault education and support. It's a way to provide resources and tools to those in the field to pass along to their clients if and when they're needed.

"This is not an area that we are trained in currently, this new law will give us some guidelines and procedures to follow to be as supportive and offer the most help possible to our guests," said Fatheree

The law doesn't require salon workers to act on their suspicions, but does help them recognize the red flags and gives them the resources to pass on to victims so they can get help.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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