Blackburn, Duckworth Introduce Bill To Help Cosmetologists Recognize & Respond To Domestic Violence

December 18, 2023

NASHVILLE, TENN. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the bipartisan Supporting the Abused by Learning Options to Navigate Survivor (SALONS) Stories Act, which would incentivize domestic violence awareness training for cosmetologists and beauty professionals.

Tennessee and Illinois have joined several states in passing landmark legislation to give beauty professionals these necessary skills, serving as models for states around the nation. 

“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,” said Senator Blackburn. “There is no better community to recognize this abuse and help victims than beauty professionals. Some women, even at their most vulnerable and isolated, 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.”

“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 Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud to join Senator Blackburn on our bipartisan SALONS Stories Act, which builds on Illinois’s 2017 law, to help more beauty professionals access free domestic violence awareness training that can give them the tools and knowledge they need to help victims effectively. How they handle these critical moments could be life-saving.”


“The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) lends its support to the SALONS Stories Act, recognizing the vital intersection of beauty professionals and domestic violence awareness, as this legislation aligns with the industry's commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of clients, fostering a supportive environment, and leveraging the unique relationships between beauty professionals and clients to address and combat domestic violence effectively. PBA applauds U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn for sponsoring the legislation and working together with the licensed beauty industry community,” said Myra Reddy, Director of Government Affairs for the Professional Beauty Association (PBA).

“Dealing with the devastation of domestic violence can be very lonely and isolating. Who to disclose to is another issue. Domestic violence survivors may disclose their experience to a trusted professional, including a cosmetologist or beauty professional,” said Dr. Wendy Mahoney, Interim CEO and President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “When survivors disclose their experiences, it is vital that professionals provide a non-judgmental response and know how to refer the survivor to services and support.  We support The SALONS Stories Act as it encourages states to require training for these professionals, creating additional access points for survivors.”

“The SALONS Stories Act will help to empower cosmetologists with essential domestic violence awareness training. By incentivizing states to adopt these training standards, we're prioritizing education as a crucial tool in our collective fight against domestic violence,” said Katie Ray-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. “This act preserves states' autonomy but also fosters a safer environment by equipping additional professionals with the knowledge to recognize and support survivors. It's a valuable step towards ensuring everyone plays a role in ending domestic violence.”

“I’m thrilled to see a bipartisan initiative on the national level that mirrors the cooperation we saw in Tennessee to help victims of domestic violence,” said Susanne Post, Founder of Shear Haven. “By encouraging other states to focus on training cosmetologists, barbers, aestheticians, and other beauty professionals on the signs of domestic abuse and how to respond appropriately, I know lives can be saved. These professionals are often the first to see the signs of domestic abuse, and have a trusted, consistent relationship with their clients. I’m truly grateful to Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Tammy Duckworth for working together to find solutions to ending gender-based violence.”

“The YWCA network spans 45 states across the nation, and dozens of our nearly two hundred sister associations provide critical care for survivors of gender-based violence. As a community, we know that there remain many who we may not reach, and that is why community solutions are such an integral part of that work,” said Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA. “YWCAs across the nation continue to see a sharp increase in demands for domestic and sexual violence services, and salon professionals are uniquely placed to recognize the signs of abuse, respond, and provide resources to their clients. We thank Senators Blackburn and Duckworth for introducing this important bill and look forward to working together to ensure that more victims and survivors can access the supports they need to begin their recovery.”

“This legislation will be a game-changer in the fight against domestic violence. We see every day at our domestic violence shelter the devastating effects of abuse on women, children, and families. More people need to know about the signs and that there is help available. By encouraging other states to do what we have done in Tennessee and engaging the beauty industry to embrace domestic violence awareness education, learn the signs and the resources, we’re confident lives can be changed and can be saved,” said Sharon Roberson, CEO of YWCA Nashville.


  • 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • In the United States, 3 women are killed each day by an intimate partner. 
  • To support state initiatives at the federal level, the SALONS Stories Act would provide grants to states that have in place laws requiring cosmetologists seeking licensing to undergo free and easily accessible domestic violence awareness training.
  • This legislation would preserve states’ autonomy in setting their cosmetology licensing standards while incentivizing lifesaving legislation. 

View the bill text here.