New rules for hairstylists helps fight domestic violence

JACKSON, Tenn. — Your barber or hairstylist can now help you with much more than a new hairstyle and a deep conversation.

As of January 1, the State of TN passed a bill that requires cosmetologists to take at least one hour of domestic violence training.

We visited a local salon to find out how the customers and cosmetologists feel about this new law. And one local cosmetologist says she’s all for it.

“You know, I’m ready to start because I’m in for education. We can never get enough education and information about things we encounter on an everyday basis,” said Opal Powell, owner of Opal’s Beautyrama.

Powell says in her 50 years of cosmetology, she has seen it all.

She says she supports anything that can help break the cycle of violence that some families experience.

“I deal with so many clients that have had parents die from domestic violence. I remember that. You know they got smooth talkers. They can make you feel like, I ain’t gonna do it no more, take me back. Next thing you know…they’re dead,” Powell said.

Most victims that suffer from domestic violence are afraid to speak out in fear for their life. But Powell says don’t be, cause telling someone is the first step to change.

“Don’t be afraid to talk about it, tell somebody. You know, you don’t have to tell the police, but you can tell somebody. And somebody can tell somebody else the things to do, the avenues you can go to. You know, so it won’t happen to you,” Powell said.

She also says it’s okay. We’re all human and that no one should be ashamed to ask for help.

“We should not accept what we go through. Some people say it’s okay or I can deal with it, but no. Sometimes it’s a situation where you need help,” Powell said.

As Powell talked, customers all nodded in agreement. But one customer said that this is needed.

“You develop that relationship, when you say this is my beautician. So you have that connection already. So when they go and get the training and when my beautician goes and gets the training, let’s say I’m experiencing a case like that; I might feel comfortable talking to her because we have that connection,” said customer, Minnie Springfield.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can contact the WRAP hotline here in Jackson at (800) 273-8712.

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