Last year, Illinois passed legislation that requires cosmetologists to receive domestic abuse prevention training as part of their licensing process. Many people form strong bonds with their hair stylist. Now Wyoming is interested in turning to cosmetologists for help spotting abuse in a similar way.
Katie Hughes works for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the organization offering the training. She said the Cut It Out Program will teach hair stylists to understand the dynamics of abuse, how to offer support and where to refer victims to services.
The goal is to identify the beauty community as a safe and supportive place for victims, and Hughes said they already have a head-start, since the relationship between stylists and clients often spans many years.
“Stylists are interacting and really getting to know their clients in a deep and vulnerable way, at times,” said Hughes. “So stylists can not only know their clients personally, and have that relationship of trust, but stylists are also in a position to see changes in survivors, whether it’s physical changes or emotional changes. They have the ability to identify when something might be going on.”
The training will be given through a webinar, and Hughes said they are hoping to reach stylists all across the state. Hair stylists interested in participating in the trainings can contact the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.