Domestic violence shelters throughout the United States report that the economy continues to affect women significantly – with domestic violence increasing for the third straight year, and government cutbacks decreasing shelters’ ability to help victims.  The abuse is reportedly more severe, and victims are struggling to find jobs and shelters, according to the most recent Mary Kay Truth About Abuse national survey.

More than 670 domestic violence shelters across the country were surveyed in March 2011.

Detailed findings from the 2011 Mary Kay Truth About Abuse survey reveal alarming trends in light of the economy’s decline since 2008, including:

  • 80 percent of domestic violence shelters nationwide report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
  • 73 percent of shelters attribute this rise in abuse to “financial issues.”
  • 48 percent of shelters link this increase in domestic violence to “job loss.”
  • 89 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation during the next 12 months will be worse or no better due to the economy.
  • 65 percent of women in shelters can’t find employment due to the economy.
  • 77 percent of shelters indicate their clients stayed longer in their relationships due to the economy.
Learn more about Mary Kay’s commitment to ending domestic violence.


In the United States, Mary Kay Inc. is committed to changing the lives of women and children by helping to end and prevent domestic violence.


Thanks to you, Mary Kay has donated millions of dollars USD to causes that change the lives of women and children around the world. The funds for these donations came from the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 worldwide sale of Beauty That Counts® Mary Kay® Creme Lipsticks. These donations are giving victims of domestic violence a chance to heal, cancer sufferers a hope for tomorrow and orphaned children a reason to smile. As part of this effort in the United States, Mary Kay Inc. is proud to support The Mary Kay FoundationSM in its efforts to end domestic violence.

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See how Mary Kay is working to find ways to be more sustainable and green.


Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay FoundationSM have built nine Nature Explore Classrooms at women’s shelters across the country and will build four more in 2011. The Nature Explore Classrooms are the first of their kind to be built at domestic violence shelters. The classrooms provide outdoor learning spaces where the power of nature can help children learn, play and heal from abuse.

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In 2010, The Mary Kay FoundationSM awarded $3 million in shelter grants to 150 domestic violence shelters nationwide. 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 working to make a difference in the lives of domestic violence survivors. To date, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has donated nearly $28 million to domestic violence organizations nationwide.

Learn more about The Mary Kay FoundationSM

Mary Kay Inc. and members of the Mary Kay independent sales force are lobbying legislators to help prevent and end domestic violence. Since the 1980s, Mary Kay Inc. and members of its independent sales force have lobbied Congress and state legislatures on issues including the Violence Against Women Act and, most recently, teen dating violence awareness and prevention. To help end teen dating violence, click here. In 2011, Mary Kay and members of the Mary Kay independent sales force lobbied state lawmakers in California, Georgia, Texas and Massachusetts and members of Congress in Washington, D.C.


With one in three teens being the victim of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse in a relationship,** Mary Kay Inc. partnered with the national nonprofit organization Break the Cycle to sponsor its interactive "Ending Violence" DVD. This comprehensive DVD was made available to schools nationwide in February 2010 as part of the first-ever Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This preventive education curriculum teaches teens about healthy relationships. The partnership continues at, an online petition aimed at encouraging lawmakers to help end teen dating violence.

**According to Break the Cycle

Learn about Mary Kay’s efforts to bring about legislation to help prevent and end domestic violence.