New Law Will Require Stylists To Learn About The Signs Of Domestic Abuse

CHICAGO (CBS) — You’ve heard the old expression, “Only her hair dresser knows for sure.”

It describes the close relationship formed at the salon.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports the hope of that bond helping victims of domestic abuse.

“It’s so hard. It really does happen to our clients.”

For 25 years, hair stylist George Gonzalez has worked with his scissors, his comb and his ears.

He has listened as some clients describe how they’ve been abused at home.

“They knew coming into the salon, we were going to help support victims of domestic violence,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez and staff know the resources abuse victims need to get that help.

And soon, hair stylists all over Illinois will have the same information.

“A strategy to teach cosmetologists how to identify signs of domestic violence and how to help the victims,” said Senator Cunningham.

State Senator Bill Cunningham co-sponsored a bill, that becomes law Jan. 1 requiring salon workers to take a one-hour awareness and training course about domestic violence and sexual assault before they get their licenses.

“We’re not trying to turn hair stylists into psychiatrists,” Cunningham said. “We’re basically giving them tools to help them do their job better. Help them recognize signs of abuse.”

It is an effort led by ‘Chicago Says No More.’

You’ve seen their public service announcement…

“Every 3 seconds. No more excuses”

For George Gonzalez, his motivation is personal.

“My mother was in an abusive relationship,” Gonzalez tells CBS 2. “Later in life when I was opening a salon, it just came me that it was my calling and I was going to help as many people as I could, that were victims of domestic violence.”

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