SPRINGFIELD - A new Illinois law will require stylists, cosmetologists and other like professions to undergo training to spot signs of domestic violence and sexual abuse in their clients. 

The new law amends the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding and Nail Technology Act of 1985. It requires the program of study for a person seeking license as a barber, cosmetologist, esthetician, hair braider or nail technician from which said individual must graduate must include both domestic violence and sexual assault education as determined by rule of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. It also requires that the continuing education needed to renew a license as a cosmetologist, esthetician, hair braider or nail technician must include both domestic violence and sexual assault education as determined by the rule of the department. 

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Manager at Alvareitas College of Cosmetology Judith Grigg said the new law is still being fully written, so therefore she is not completely sure of how it will be handled for students at the college at this time. 

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"I know the law has passed, but the rules have yet to be written," she said. "I do know all continuing education providers will need to include that in their continued education for the next year." 

Grigg said such professions "come across quite a bit" of domestic violence and sexual abuse situations. She said she hopes the new law will help stylists know how to handle and deal with these often difficult situations. She said the school itself is required to do something similar if domestic violence or sexual abuse is suspected. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), has a list of startling statistics involving domestic violence, including: 

  • One in every four women and one in every seven men have experienced severe physical violence by a current or former partner
  • A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S., which equates to 12 million women and men. 
  • Nearly half of all women and men in the U.S. have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • More than half of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner. 
  • Two-thirds of female victims of stalking were stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 
  • Nearly one in three, or 29 percent, of college women say they have been in an abusive dating relationship. 
  • One in four dating teens is abused or harassed online or through texts by their partners. 
  • Victims of digital abuse and harassment are twice as likely to be physically abused, 2.5 times as likely to be psychologically abused and five times as likely to be sexually coerced. 
  • The costs of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking exceed $5.8 billion each year - nearly $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health care services. 
  • Intimate partner violence victims also lose a total of nearly 8 million days of paid work - the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs - and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of the violence. 
  • Ninety-six percent of domestic violence victims who are employed experience problems at work due to abuse. 
  • Nearly 33 percent of women killed in U.S. workplaces between 2003-2008 were killed by a current or former intimate partner. 

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