In the UK, 1 out of 4 women from the age of 16 experience domestic abuse, and the numbers continue to rise to this day. That is why any new means to fight this violence happening in homes are always welcome.
Meanwhile, in the state of Illinois, legislators passed a law requiring salon professionals to be trained to spot signs of domestic abuse on their clients.
The goal is to train over 88,000 cosmetologists in the span of two years. Which has many jumping at the opportunity. At the helm of this campaign are domestic violence advocacy groups from the city of Chicago. One of these groups is called Says No More. They’re the ones who pioneered the said training program for cosmetologists.
This innovative way of fighting domestic abuse takes advantage of the close relationship between the stylists and their clients. The one-hour long training is called Listen.Support.Connect. It won’t make them experts right away in detecting signs of domestic violence and they aren’t required to report to authorities and be held liable. The main aim is to raise awareness of this serious issue affecting our women.
At the very least, this campaign will give the victims of domestic abuse an outlet and a means to get in touch with a support group. Their close relationship with their stylists is the answer. The salon provides a safe place for these women, and give them even just a glimpse of hope that someday, they will be rescued from their torment. Just this one simple solution is enough of a catalyst for big change in our society.
Because of this law, the fight against domestic abuse has gone one step further into raising awareness, and what could be a better place to launch this initiative than the salon, where women from all walks of life come together and bond. Because of this, it will be easier to notice that something isn’t right.
Joan Rowan is a hairstylist who owns two salons in the state of Illinois. She said that she’s been training her staff how to spot the signs of domestic abuse on their customers. She also mentioned that at times, her clients would tell her their stories about what happens inside their homes, and sometimes, when they end up sharing too much, they wouldn’t come back anymore out of fear and embarrassment. Sometimes, these women just don’t know what to do to escape the situation they’re in.
She’d sometimes notice the bumps on the head of one of her clients during a shampoo and hair care treatment. Oftentimes, the customer would wave it off with another “bumped my head on the door” excuse.
The most important takeaway from this is the support channel for the victims and to give them the access to anyone who could rescue them. It could be as simple as exchanging numbers with the client and in extreme cases, get them to a shelter that has all the means of protecting them.
These types of innovation in combating domestic violence is revolutionary and promising, but until awareness is raised and funds are allocated for the protection of our women, we can only hope for a better tomorrow.