Proposed bill would require beauty professionals to receive domestic violence training

May 08, 2017 06:32 AM

Could people in the beauty professions soon join the fight against domestic violence? 

Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has introduced a bill that would require anyone providing a cosmetic service to get special training on domestic violence. A similar law just went into effect in Illinois. The law wouldn't force stylists to report domestic violence, but it would just train them on how to identify the signs of someone being abused and what local resources are available to help. 

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Alli O' Malley, Executive Director of Resolve, a survivor herself says this could be a big help especially locally. She says the salon’s environment makes it easier for people to open up.

"You're just relaxed, your guard is down, and particularly for women it's one of the only places you can go ugly,” O’ Malley said. “Domestic violence occurs at rates nearly 50 percent higher than the rest of the state in Monroe County and in the City of Rochester those rates are nearly 2.5 times the state average.”

The law would require all cosmetic professionals to complete an hour long course when they renew their license. The course would train them to provide resources and identify the signs of domestic violence.

Aqueelah Sovereign is a nail tech at Sophisticated Nail and Beauty Spa in Henrietta. She says additional training could be a burden to some stylists. She also worries about an added fee for the course.

“It doesn't require certification to be compassionate that's something we do naturally,” Sovereign said. 

Hair stylist Denisha Wilson Grant agrees and says she already knows how to help.

“Everyone should know how, Google is a wonderful thing in this world, so we all know how to help someone in need,” Grant said.

Although O’ Malley applauds every effort at ending domestic violence she says it's all about how it's implemented.

“How do we do this in a way that's reasonable and not expensive because there are a lot of burdens on small businesses and most salons are small businesses,” O’ Malley said.

The bill does not say who would pay for the course. It has been referred to the Economic Development committee of the State Assembly.


Kaci Jones

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