Press Release 5/12/09

"Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse" Survey Links Economic Downturn to National Increase in Domestic Violence

Mary Kay Launches Philanthropic Initiative Beauty That CountsTM
to Help Fight Domestic Violence

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:

  • 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); followed by
  • The Midwest region, which reported a 74 percent increase;
  • The Northeast takes the No. 3 place with a 72 percent reported increase; and
  • 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:

  • 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
  • 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.

One Lipstick at a Time: Beauty That CountsTM Initiative

To help combat domestic violence, Mary Kay Inc. is launching a national philanthropic campaign, Beauty That CountsTM. In the United States, from May 1, 2009 through December 15, 2009, $1 will be donated from each sale of Beauty That CountsTM Mary Kay® Creme Lipsticks in limited-edition Pink Passion and in Gingerbread. As part of its U.S.-based efforts, Mary Kay Inc. is proud to support the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation in its ongoing commitment to end domestic violence. For the inaugural year of the global Beauty That CountsTM initiative in 2008, Mary Kay is donating just under $2 million (USD) to causes that change the lives of women and children around the world, including domestic violence prevention and education efforts.

Rhonda Shasteen, spokesperson for Mary Kay's Beauty That CountsTM initiative, added: "Financial issues have affected many families across the country, putting domestic violence survivors at an even greater risk for abuse. That's one more reason why Mary Kay offers programs such as Beauty That CountsTM to further its commitment to preventing and ending domestic violence.

For more information on Mary Kay’s Beauty That CountsTM program or its U.S. philanthropic efforts, please visit

About Mary Kay

Mary Kay, one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics, achieved another year of record results in 2008 with $2.6 billion in wholesale sales. Mary Kay® products are sold in more than 35 markets worldwide, and the company’s global independent sales force exceeds 1.9 million. To learn more about Mary Kay, log on to or call 1 (800) MARY KAY (1-800-627-9529).

About "Mary Kay's Truth About Abuse" Survey

The survey polled 634 domestic violence shelters across the United States about domestic violence and the economy. The study was conducted online between April 24, 2009 and May 7, 2009.

About the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation

The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is twofold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation's inception, it has awarded nearly $18 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and nearly $12 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, log on to or call 1-877-MKCARES (1-877-652-2737).