Atlanta, March 16, 2011 – Mary Kay Inc. and members of the Mary Kay independent sales force, in partnership with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence are descending upon the Georgia State Capitol to raise awareness with lawmakers about the importance of crucial funding for domestic violence prevention and intervention services statewide. Participants will educate Georgia lawmakers about crucial counseling, shelter, support groups, education and prevention programs and the necessity of state support for these life-saving services.

“Educating legislators is an important part of Mary Kay’s commitment to ending domestic violence,” said Mary Kay Vice President of Government Relations Anne Crews. “Together, with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, we can make a difference and help educate lawmakers about the critical needs among organizations and individuals who serve on the front lines of this important issue and horrific crime.”

Domestic Violence Outlook
The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that the needs of domestic violence victims in the state have grown in severity, requiring an increased length of stay in domestic violence shelters. The coalition also reports an 18 percent increase from last year in the number of women receiving non-residential services from shelters in the community.

“In Georgia, legislators are proposing the elimination of all unrestricted state funds for domestic violence programs and replacing them with restricted funds. If this change goes through, up to 80 percent of shelters in the state report that they could be in jeopardy of closing their doors. This would be truly devastating for victims in the state,” said Executive Director of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Nicole Lesser. “We are grateful to Mary Kay for their partnership and for helping raise awareness of this important issue.”

According to the national “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey,” domestic violence shelters indicated the economic downturn has increased demand for services. Shelters report the ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered in 2011. Due to the economy, the survey also revealed:
  • 88 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation to worsen or remain the same in 2011.
  • Three out of four domestic violence shelters (77 percent) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
  • 51 percent of shelters nationwide note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.
Mary Kay has an ongoing commitment to lobbying for good and working to prevent and end domestic violence. Beginning in the 1980s, Mary Kay Inc. lobbied state and national lawmakers advocating for insurance coverage of mammograms. Over the last 15 years the company has lobbied for the federal Violence Against Women Act, its reauthorization and subsequent appropriations.

About Mary Kay
Mary Kay is one of the world’s largest direct selling companies with more than $2.5 billion in annual wholesale sales worldwide. Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash with the goal of helping women achieve personal growth and financial success. Mary Kay remains committed to enriching women’s lives, and today more than 2 million people of all backgrounds are enjoying the advantages of being Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants. Mary Kay’s high-quality skin care and color cosmetic products are sold in more than 35 countries around the world. To learn more about Mary Kay, visit www.marykay.com.