Illinois turns hair stylists into snitches; tells them to spy on their customers and report to law enforcement
01/10/2017 // Don Wrightman // Views

Service professionals working various positions in Illinois will now be required to complete domestic abuse prevention training as part of their licensing requirements. The new law, which just went into effect on Sunday, impacts hair stylists, barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians, hair braiders and nail technicians. Although workers won’t be required to report violence, they are protected from any liability under the law. Some believe this is a deliberate effort to take advantage of the intimate relations between the service professionals and their clients.

The required training aims to teach beauty professionals how to spot signs of abuse. The new law could prove to be a great aid for rescuing sex trafficking victims from their captors, but that appears to be the only potential upside. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is a federally run department which will be enforcing the new state law, but the Department of Homeland Security runs the Illinois Department of Human Services, which handles domestic abuse in the state.

The trusted relationships between beauty workers and their clients are now questionable in Illinois. State Rep. Fran Hurley believes that the "openness and freeness" of those relations puts the employees in position to see something that just isn’t quite right. It’s easy to give away information that should be kept private when you are enjoying a conversation with someone you trust. Illinois is ready to take advantage of that information with the some 88,000 beauty professionals intended to complete the training program within the next two years.

Some clients do have a tendency to open up about the on goings of their personal lives. Sometimes they reveal so much information that they are too embarrassed to go back again. While the hour-long training sessions won’t make any barbers an instant expert in domestic abuse, it does help raise awareness in two separate areas.

Anything you say can and will be used against you

No, you are not being read your Miranda rights, but that statement applies just about everywhere. Everything you say and do is subject to scrutiny. The more information you give away, the more opportunities exist for unforeseen circumstances to arise, which may impact you negatively. We live in a world where people will try to bring you down. You can read the news on any given day and you will find stories pertaining to job loss and fallout -- because somebody decided to open their mouth.


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