“Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” Survey

Mary Kay Inc. recently announced results from the survey of domestic violence shelters across the country. The findings reveal an alarming trend: three out of four domestic violence shelters report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy. The survey data directly connects a major reason for the increase in domestic violence to the downturn in the economy.

“Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” survey polled more than 600 domestic violence shelters nationwide.

Representatives of the shelters surveyed report they have observed an increase in requests for assistance from domestic violence victims because of the following reasons:

• Seventy-three percent attribute the rise in abuse to “financial issues.”
• “Stress” and “job loss” (61 percent and 49 percent, respectively) also proved to be leading contributing factors in the reported increase in domestic violence cases involving women.

“Mary Kay’s survey confirms what we’ve been hearing from domestic violence programs across the country,” said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “The economic downturn is exacerbating domestic violence. The demand for domestic violence services is growing, and we must increase support for victims during this difficult time. Now more than ever, we urge corporations and other organizations to follow Mary Kay’s lead in the fight to end domestic violence.”

“Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” Survey Regional Findings

Mary Kay’s survey compared four U.S. regions, including the Northeast, South, Midwest and West.

Survey highlights include:

The number of shelters reporting an increase in women seeking help as a result of domestic violence since September 2008:

• The region with the largest reported increase was the South (78 percent);
• The Midwest region reported a 74 percent increase;
• The Northeast had a 72 percent reported increase; and
• The West rounds reported a 71 percent reported increase.

The survey also inquired about the cause(s) for the increase in domestic violence cases across regions:

• Seventy-five percent of shelters in the West report “financial issues.”
• Approximately 66 percent of respondents in the Midwest note “stress.”
• More than half of respondents (53 percent) in the South report “job loss.”
• The “loss of a home or vehicle” was reported more often in the Midwest than other regions, with 44 percent; the Northeast had the lowest with 35 percent.
• Reasons more commonly associated with domestic violence, such as “substance abuse” and “relationship challenges,” also contributed to the increase in domestic violence shelter assistance in each region, according to the survey.

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