On Jan. 1 this year, a law went into effect in Tennessee that requires beauty professionals to take up to an hour of training on how to recognize and respond to signs of domestic violence.
How brilliant is that?
And Tennessee is not alone. Arkansas, Illinois and Washington have similar new laws on their books.
The unique and deeply personal relationships hairstylists have with their clients is legendary. Just think of Dolly Parton’s character in Steel Magnolias. It’s the stuff of jokes sometimes, too, but to see these relationships for what they often are and then give the hairstylists the tools to actually help someone in crisis who might not go anywhere else, talk to anyone else, is next level. It’s just so smart.
Are we sure this came through politicians? Hmm…goes against everything we know.
But it is happening. That’s the important thing here and a hairstylist trained to spot domestic violence can gently guide a client to resources they never even knew existed. It is just general goodness all the way around.
This is going to save lives.
But it does more than that. It firmly establishes the respect we owe our hairstylists as professionals and as the keepers of our secrets. It builds a whole new arena for our national fight against domestic violence, and adds more soldiers to a battle we are currently losing.
Domestic violence rates went up during the pandemic and are still up, and while we congratulate the amazing laws states are passing to aid in this war it is important to note that right now, as you read this, the bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, has stalled completely in the Senate. It just sits there, and while there is a group of bipartisan Senators who plan to reintroduce it, it hasn’t been done.
So to all the newly trained hairstylists out there a big thank you. We see you. We know your value.
And to the Senate who let the Violence Against Women Act die, you guessed it: We see you, too.
This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.