Dallas, Sept. 21, 2010 – The downturn in the economy across the United States has resulted in an increase in domestic violence, according to domestic violence shelter directors surveyed by Mary Kay. In direct response, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in need nationwide. Just in time for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, each shelter received a $20,000 grant to help combat domestic violence, educate local communities and provide much needed shelter and rehabilitation services. The Mary Kay FoundationSM is celebrating its 10th year in working to make a difference in the lives of domestic violence survivors. To date, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has donated nearly $25 million to domestic violence organizations nationwide. For a complete list of 2010 shelter grant recipients please visit www.marykayfoundation.org.

Domestic Violence Outlook
According to the second “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” national survey conducted in March 2010, domestic violence shelters indicate the economic downturn has increased demand for services. Shelters also report, the ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered into 2011. Due to the economy, the survey also revealed:
  • 88 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation will worsen, or remain the same into 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.
“We continue to hear from domestic violence shelters that the economy is affecting them by increasing the need for services and decreasing their opportunities for funding,” said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual grant program is making a huge difference in the lives of countless domestic violence survivors and the organizations that work so diligently to help them. We found that domestic violence programs served more than 65,000 people in just one day alone.”

Mary Kay has long recognized the importance of educating women about domestic violence and keeping them safe from it. Materials on domestic violence awareness and prevention are accessible to Mary Kay’s independent sales force, which exceeds 2 million members worldwide. The Mary Kay Foundation is supported by thousands of Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants, Mary Kay Inc., and is an important part of the legacy of Mary Kay Ash.

“Mary Kay has made a long-term commitment to bring an end to domestic violence and it is our hope that through education, advocacy and donations we can help the brave survivors begin a path to recovery,” said Anne Crews, The Mary Kay FoundationSM board member and vice president of Mary Kay Inc. “The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual grant program can help with the critical needs of domestic violence shelters as part of our ongoing effort to support domestic violence survivors and the individuals who help them every day.”

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.

About The Mary Kay FoundationSM
The Mary Kay FoundationSM 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 $25 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $14 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay FoundationSM, log on to www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).