Illinois recently adopted a law that will take effect at the beginning of 2017 which requires all 88,000 salon workers in the state to take a domestic violence awareness training to teach them how to recognize the signs and symptoms. The training will include one hour every two years and will also provide hairdressers with resources to which they can refer their clients. Illinois will be the first state in the US to adopt such measures.
The bill was brought forth by State Senator Bill Cunningham and Representative Fran Hurley after they were approached by an organization called Chicago Says No More. Beauty salon workers have no responsibility to act on any of their suspicions, unlike mandated reporters, but they will be trained on how to recognize abuse.
Hairdressers in the state have mixed responses to the bill. One salon owner said that the training “puts enormous pressure on stylists, who did not get into their line of business to be on the lookout for crime.” A hairstylist in a different salon, however, told reporters that she understands the law because people “may feel safe sharing troubles with someone more removed from the situation.”
Domestic Violence Reporting
Currently in Washington, police officers are legally required to go through a minimum of twenty hours of basic training to learn how to respond to domestic violence situations, along with an annual in-service training. According to the law, “The curriculum shall include training on the extent and prevalence of domestic violence, the importance of criminal justice intervention, techniques for responding to incidents that minimize the likelihood of officer injury and that promote victim safety, investigation and interviewing skills, evidence gathering and report writing, assistance to and services for victims and children, verification and enforcement of court orders, liability, and any additional provisions that are necessary.”
Police are also required to file a police report even if no arrest is made, and the City Attorney's Office will determine whether or not to press charges. If charges are made, only the prosecutor can request to drop them, which a judge must approve. The alleged victim of the domestic violence does not have the authority to drop the charges.
If someone commits an act of domestic violence and then interferes with the victim's reporting, they can be charged with “interfering with the reporting of domestic violence.” This means that someone “Prevents or attempts to prevent the victim of or a witness to that domestic violence crime from calling a 911 emergency communication system, obtaining medical assistance, or making a report to any law enforcement official.” This is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine and will be added to other charges.
Some people are also trained in the state of Washington to report child abuse or neglect. The following list details people who are “mandated reporters.” This means that adults in these positions are legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect, and are usually trained on how to do so by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
- Medical practitioners
- Social service counselors/therapists
- Medical examiners
- School personnel
- Child care providers
- Law enforcement officers
- Juvenile probation officers
- Corrections employees
- DSHS employees
- Placement and liaison specialists
- Responsible living skills program staff
- HOPE center staff
- State family and children's ombudsman
- Any volunteer in the ombudsman's office
- Adults residing with child suspected to have been severely abused
If you have been charged with domestic violence, call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.