>> At this Chicago hair show, these stylists are doing more than just curling and crimping. They're learning a skill that could actually save a life. New regulations in Illinois now require cosmetologists to undergo training on how to spot signs of domestic violence and sexual assault. Illinois state lawmakers adopted the policy in January, hoping to leverage the rapport and trust hair care professionals develop with their clients.
>> Our biggest message is, you don't have to solve their issues, you do not have to counsel, they're not counselors, they're not therapists. But they are able to connect, support, and listen to these victims and survivors of domestic violence, and connect them to an agency that are able to help.
>> Most domestic violence is committed by romantic partners, and ex-partners, according to the Department of Justice. And only 55% of domestic violence incidents are ever reported to the police. The stylists are trained to gently encouraged clients who may be in distress to seek help, which can mean going to the police or to an organization for domestic abuse victims.
>> We build relationships with our clients, so we get to know them, know a lot about them, a lot about their families. And they confide a lot their personal information in us. We don't judge, we just are there to make them feel beautiful.>> At least some of these stylists learning to listen leave feeling empowered to make a more lasting difference in their customers' lives.