“The relationship that beauty professionals have with their clients is very special,” said Suzanne Post, a salon owner and survivor of domestic abuse who worked with the local YWCA to bring the idea of such a requirement to legislators. “We hear everything and so being able to be equipped with resources that could potentially save lives or potentially lead someone toward the right counselor or the right helper is so important.”
“[Cosmetologists] have developed a close relationship, kind of like a counselor in some ways with their clients,” said state Rep. Sam Whitson, a co-sponsor of the legislation.
He described the beauty professionals as “another set of eyes” who could possibly save a life. “We know it’s a problem and we’ve just looked at this as one step in addressing it and protecting the individual.”
“Working with barbers and stylists is a great idea,” said Kiersten Stewart, the director of public policy and advocacy for Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit organization that works to end domestic and sexual violence. “Victims of domestic violence often reach out to people they know first. They’re far more likely to talk to a trusted friend or a community member or family member before they might ever go to law enforcement.”
In a separate report, the commission reported a 9.7% increase in domestic violence calls during March and April of 2020.
Resources for victims of domestic violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline Call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741
Available 24/7 for victims of abuse and any other type of crisis.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453
Available 24/7 in 170 different languages.
Office on Women’s Health Helpline 1-800-994-9662
A resource provided by the US Department of Health & Human Services.