Blackburn: ‘Beauty professionals can help recognize domestic violence’

A bipartisan bill sponsored on Dec. 14 by U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) would support domestic violence awareness training for cosmetologists and beauty professionals across the country.

The Supporting the Abused by Learning Options to Navigate Survivor (SALONS) Stories Act, S. 3540, which is cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), would increase grants to combat domestic violence for states that implement domestic violence prevention training in the cosmetologist and barber licensing process, according to the text of the bill.

“One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime, and in the United States, three women are killed each day by an intimate partner,” Sen. Blackburn said. “There is no better community to recognize this abuse and help victims than beauty professionals.”

Some women, even at their most vulnerable and isolated, she added, will continue going to the salon and building relationships with their cosmetologists. 

“This is a common-sense bipartisan bill to help equip cosmetologists with resources necessary to identify and support victims of domestic violence,” said Sen. Blackburn.

If enacted, S. 3540 would support state initiatives at the federal level by providing grants to states that have laws in place requiring cosmetologists seeking licensing to undergo free domestic violence awareness training, according to the bill summary provided by Sen. Blackburn’s staff.

The bill also would preserve states’ autonomy in setting their cosmetology licensing standards, while incentivizing life-saving legislation, the summary says. 

“Victims of domestic violence often don’t know where to turn or who to talk to, but they do often continue going to their salons — which puts beauty professionals in a unique position of potentially being among the first people who can recognize signs of abuse,” said Sen. Duckworth. “How they handle these critical moments could be life-saving.”

The bill has garnered support from the Professional Beauty Association, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Shear Haven, YWCA USA, and YWCA Nashville.