Dallas, April 5, 2010 – In the state of Tennessee, a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking, does not have the protection of the law to break lease agreements and relocate for safety reasons. Many victims are faced with making choices between homelessness, ruined credit or returning to an unsafe residence. Mary Kay Inc. and members of the Mary Kay independent sales force, in partnership with the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (TCADSV) are joining forces to educate law makers on the importance of passing SB 902/HB 323. This bill allows a tenant who is the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking to terminate a lease agreement for their primary residence upon submitting an order of protection, a written report from a law enforcement or domestic violence agency, or a written medical report.
 
 
Mary Kay Vice President of Government Relations Anne Crews said, “Educating legislators is an important part of Mary Kay’s commitment to ending domestic violence. Especially in light of the economic downturn, it’s imperative that domestic violence victims are supported so that survivors can flee from abusive situations and get on the road to recovery.”
 
 
According to the TCADSV, in a recent survey of domestic violence shelters, sexual assault centers and legal service agencies, 64 percent reported that they had worked with victims who wanted to terminate their lease agreement because of safety concerns. Additionally, 66 percent of respondents reported they worked with clients that had been evicted for reasons related to their status as a victim – such as domestic disturbances.
 
 
“We are committed to helping victims receive the support and safe haven they need, but we cannot do this alone and without the support of legislation to protect the victim,” said TCADSV Executive Director Kathy Walsh. “There are 18 states with laws to protect families and now is the time for our lawmakers to stand together with us for the safety of Tennessee residents. We appreciate Mary Kay’s support of this important issue and their long-term support of our cause.”
 
 
Mary Kay has an ongoing commitment to lobbying for good. Beginning in the 1980s, Mary Kay Inc. lobbied state and national lawmakers advocating insurance coverage for mammograms and over the last 15 years lobbied for the federal Violence Against Women Act, its reauthorization and subsequent appropriations.
 
 
About Mary Kay
Mary Kay is one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics. In 2008 Mary Kay Inc. and its international subsidiaries achieved $2.6 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).