Monday, May 18, 2009

Bad Economy Means More Abuse

DALLAS (May 12, 2009) – Mary Kay Inc. today announced results from "Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse" 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:
4Seventy three percent attribute the rise in abuse to "financial issues."
4"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."

The number of shelters reporting an increase in women seeking help as a result of domestic violence since September 2008:
4The region with the largest reported increase was the South (78 percent); followed by
4The Midwest region, which reported a 74 percent increase;
4The Northeast takes the No. 3 place with a 72 percent reported increase; and
4The West rounds out the regional list with a 71 percent reported increase in women seeking help as a result of domestic violence.

The survey also inquired about the cause(s) for the increase in domestic violence cases across regions:
4Seventy five percent of shelters in the West report "financial issues."
4Approximately 66 percent of respondents in the Midwest note "stress."
4More than half of respondents (53 percent) in the South report "job loss."
4The "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.

Now, more than ever, domestic violence services are in need of financial assistance from their communities. Please consider a donation to your local shelter!

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