Shedding Light and Taking on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence worsens across the United States in light of economy. Review national survey findings for details. (Download options)
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Video: Nature Explore Classrooms at shelters can help children heal from witnessing domestic violence. Watch video to see the positive impact. (Download options)

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Mary Kay Inc.
Janelle O’Haugherty, 972-687-5420
Corporate Communications

Domestic Violence Escalates Nationwide in Light of the Economy, Survivors Struggle to Find Jobs

Mary Kay Identifies National Increase in Domestic Violence, Responds with Action Plan for Prevention

Despite signs the economy may be recovering, domestic violence shelters throughout the United States report the economy’s negative impact still weighs heavy and domestic violence continues to increase. In addition to domestic violence incidents rising, the abuse is more severe, victims struggle to find jobs and shelters expect the situation will only get worse in light of the economy – according to the second “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse national survey.

More than 700 domestic violence shelters across the country were surveyed in March 2010. Shelters indicate the economic downturn of the last 18 months has increased demand for their services, and also note their shelters’ ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered over the next 12 months.

Detailed findings from the 2010 “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” survey reveal alarming trends, including:

  • 88 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation during the next 12 months will be worse than now, or the same as now, in light of the economy.
  • Three out of four domestic violence shelters (77 percent) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
  • 75 percent of shelters attribute this rise in abuse to “financial issues.”
  • 54 percent of shelters link this increase in domestic violence to “job loss.”
  • More than half (57 percent) of women in shelters can’t find employment due to the economy.
  • 51 percent of shelters nationwide note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.

Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said: “The ‘Mary Kay Truth About Abuse survey confirms once again that the economy affects domestic violence and makes it clear that the situation is getting worse. Job loss, challenging employment searches, the foreclosure crisis and other economic factors are limiting escape options for survivors of abuse. The demand for domestic violence services continues to grow significantly, and we must increasingly support victims during this terrible time. Now more than ever, we implore companies and other organizations like Mary Kay to join us in our efforts to end domestic violence.”

Mary Kay’s Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Programs

Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation have continually been leaders in domestic violence awareness and prevention programs. In response to these alarming survey findings, Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation are responding with the following programs in 2010:

  • Beauty that Counts®
    In the United States, from May 1, 2010, through Sept. 15, 2010, $1 will be donated from each sale of limited-edition* Beauty that Counts® Mary Kay® Creme Lipsticks in three shades. As part of this worldwide effort, Mary Kay Inc. will support The Mary Kay Foundation’s efforts to end domestic violence.
  • Nature Explore Classrooms
    Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation are building four new outdoor Nature Explore Classrooms at women’s shelters in the United States. The Nature Explore Classrooms are outdoor learning spaces designed to allow the powers of nature to help children learn, play and heal from abuse. This program marks the first time Nature Explore Classrooms are being incorporated into a women’s shelter. Mary Kay Inc. built five such classrooms in 2009.
  • Shelter Grants
    The Mary Kay Foundation will award 150 domestic violence shelters $20,000 grants totaling $3 million. Applications for the 2010 grants are due by June 30, 2010. To date, the Foundation has donated nearly $22 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence programs across the United States.

Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc. vice president of government relations and board member for The Mary Kay Foundation, added: “Although a challenging economy doesn’t cause domestic violence, the survey results clearly demonstrate the growing and important need for supporting women and children affected by domestic violence. Mary Kay wholeheartedly reaffirms its commitment to preventing and ending this life-altering epidemic. For nearly 47 years, we’ve remained dedicated to doing well by doing good. We will continue to stand on our promise to change the lives of women and children in the United States and around the world.”

The second “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” survey polled 731 domestic violence shelters across the United States about domestic violence and the economy since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy. The study was conducted online between March 17-31, 2010. Comprehensive 2010 survey findings summarize national and regional results. Mary Kay conducted its first nationwide survey of shelters in 2009.

For additional details regarding the survey and Mary Kay’s domestic violence awareness and prevention programs, please visit:

About Mary Kay

Mary Kay is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics in the world. In 2009, Mary Kay Inc. and its international subsidiaries achieved $2.5 billion in wholesale sales worldwide. Mary Kay® products are sold in more than 35 markets worldwide, and the global Mary Kay independent sales force exceeds 2 million. To learn more about Mary Kay, log on to or call 1-800-MARY KAY (1-800-627-9529).

About The Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $22 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and $14 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation, log on to or call 1-877-MKCARES (1-877-652-2737).

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