A state lawmaker proposes that barbers and cosmetologists be trained, to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and to be able to tell their customers where to get help. Representative Marlin Schneider says the idea came from a constituent who works as a cosmetologist. A proposed bill from the Wisconsin Rapids Democrat would have the state Barbering and Cosmetology Examining Board require all licensed cosmetologists, barbers, manicurists and others in the industry to attend a course in recognizing victims of domestic abuse and referring the victims to appropriate agencies.
He'd stop short of making the workers be "mandatory reporters" of suspected abuse, but Schneider says the Schneider says the idea just makes sense. "Almost everybody has to get a haircut, or get their hair done," he says. Schneider says course work could be offered as part of programs at the state's technical colleges, or as continuing education. He's looking for cosponsors for the proposal.