Tennessee Cosmetologists Required to Undergo Domestic Abuse Training

In Summary

Tennessee is the latest state to require cosmetologists to take a domestic abuse training course in an extra effort to assist clients. 

WARNING: This story contains mentions of domestic abuse. 

Hairstylists build close bonds with their clients, frequently knowing details about them which they refuse to discuss with others—which is why Tennessee’s requirement that cosmetologists take domestic abuse training appears to be a huge win for all parties involved. 

The initiative will teach more than 50,000 licensed beauty professionals how to recognize the signs of abuse and respond appropriately, as well as offer resources to help victims, which will likely be beneficial given that domestic violence accounts for nearly half of all crimes in Tennessee. 

RELATED: Global push to end domestic violence, worse amid COVID-19 

Board Executive Director Roxana Gumucio described Tennessee’s beauty professionals as “caring, compassionate individuals who are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all their customers” in a statement, but said they may not know how to respond if presented with domestic abuse. 

“Most domestic violence victims will not report abuse to law enforcement, but they will tell someone with whom they have a long-standing relationship, such as a cosmetologist or barber,” she said. “Tennessee beauty professionals have a unique position to help identify domestic violence and assist victims.” 

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline said more than 12 million women and men in the United States are victims of intimate partner violence each year. Domestic-related incidents accounted for roughly 70,000 offenses in Tennessee in 2020, according to data

RELATED: Actress, Influencer Lends Voice to Domestic Violence in Black Communities 

The offenses spiked by 8.1% during the COVID-19 pandemic, as jurisdictions and government leaders issued stay-at-home orders to combat the spread. 

Behind The Chair reported Illinois was the first state to enact legislation requiring all salon personnel to undergo a one-hour training course on how to recognize indicators of domestic abuse and sexual assault. In addition to Tennessee, Arkansas and Washington have made it a mandate, with more states considering it. 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by mentions of domestic abuse, resources are available here.

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