Harrisburg, PA, June 23, 2010 – Mary Kay Inc. and non-profit partner Break the Cycle are encouraging legislation supporting teen dating violence prevention education in Pennsylvania schools. Also joining the effort are local members of the Mary Kay independent sales force who will meet with state legislators at the capitol building and discuss the importance of educating middle and high school students about healthy dating and relationships. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control, nationwide, 10 percent of teens report being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.

The organizations are lobbying Pennsylvania lawmakers to introduce pre-emptive legislation to educate students about dating violence and healthy relationships. The legislation would also support guidelines and discipline procedures for responding to incidents of teen dating violence on campus. Several states and school districts are implementing such programs following an increase in teen dating violence incidents across the United States.

“Mary Kay has an ongoing commitment to ending domestic violence. By encouraging legislators to pass laws supporting teen dating violence education, and offering resources and prevention mechanisms to schools, we can hopefully stop the cycle of violence before it starts,” said Mary Kay Inc. Vice President of Government Relations Anne Crews.

As part of this effort, Mary Kay Inc. and Break the Cycle are encouraging individuals to demonstrate support for this effort by signing an online petition at www.enddatingviolence.com. The petition gathers electronic signatures supporting teen dating violence prevention and awareness programs in schools nationwide.

“Break the Cycle is committed to helping youth recognize they have the right to safe and healthy relationships,” said Break the Cycle Executive Director Marjorie Gilberg. “Through our partnership with Mary Kay and the creation of tools like our interactive DVD curriculum, we are helping educators build teen dating violence prevention and intervention programs to stop abuse before it starts.”

Mary Kay first partnered with Break the Cycle to sponsor Ending Violence – an innovative, interactive DVD program developed from the organization’s evidence-based curriculum. Revolutionizing dating violence prevention education, the Ending Violence interactive DVD and accompanying resource package is designed to educate youths ages 12-18 about the dynamics of dating abuse, how to build healthy relationships, and their legal rights and responsibilities. The Ending Violence DVD is available now and allows educators to focus on the most appropriate content for students.

About Mary Kay
Mary Kay is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics. 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 www.marykay.com or call 1-800-MARY KAY (1-800-627-9529).

About Break the Cycle
Break the Cycle believes everyone has the right to safe and healthy relationships. As the leading voice for teens on the issue of dating violence, Break the Cycle advocates for policy and legislative changes that will better protect the rights and promote the health of teens nationwide. Engaging, educating and empowering youth through prevention and intervention programs, Break the Cycle helps young people identify and build healthy relationships. For more information, please visit www.breakthecycle.org or call 310.286.3383.