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Tennessee’s Thoughtful Training

Posted 01/18/2022 by Aviva Freedberg

Clients will now be able to comfortably confide in their hairdressers in Tennessee. photo by gracinistudios

Tennessee beauty professionals are now required to take one hour of domestic violence training to know the signs that a client is being abused. 

One in four women and one in nine men in the United States suffer from severe physical and mental abuse by their romantic partners, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). In Tennessee, 39.6% of women and 36.8% of men are continuing to suffer from violence in their homes. 

As a result of the appalling statistics, the Tennessee government has just introduced a new law in which beauty professionals must undergo domestic violence training. This will allow them to understand common signs that someone is being abused at home. All beauty professionals are taught to form healthy relationships with their clients before receiving their cosmetology license, meaning their clients will most likely feel comfortable telling them details about their lives, especially if their client-professional relationship has been developing for multiple years. Beauty professionals are often someone clients can confide in, and when they communicate, it does not feel like a standard professional association, meaning clients will feel more comfortable telling their cosmetologists if they need help or are in danger. The training, along with the comfort and familiarity of the relationships, will help Tennessee lower the unfortunate rate of domestic violence.

In addition to the common signs of physical abuse (bruises, broken bones, high anxiety, marks on the neck, hurt wrists, and many more), there are signs that only beauty professionals may notice. Sudden and irregular hair loss is a prominent sign someone may be suffering from domestic violence, which gives hairdressers a unique perspective. 

The beauticians will not become “mandatory domestic abuse reporters,” according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) but all existing licensed cosmetologists in Tennessee will take the one hour training course and all cosmetology students in Tennessee will be required to complete the training before they receive their license to practice cosmetology. Their training will not only help them recognize the signs of abuse, but it will help them respond to it; they will have access to many resources to refer to in order to help their clients as comfortably as possible. Tennessee’s government is hopeful the crime rate will lower after the majority of the cosmetologists’ training is complete, as domestic violence makes up almost half of all crimes in the state, according to TDCI. 

Although the Tennessee cosmetologists are not liable for the actions relating to domestic violence and their clients and not required to report anything, the law alone will help many people become aware of the pressing issue that affects many people every living moment. Approximately 4,000 women die every year from domestic violence, so this law will not only help lower the Tennessee crime rate but it will save many lives from being unfairly taken away.

Tennessee’s progressive stance this year will positively impact everyone in the state, and the law will only encourage other governments and communities to put their efforts into making citizens feel safer within their own homes.