Mary Kay Identifies: Demand for Help Is Up – Services, Funding and Prevention Programs are Down
Dallas, May 1, 2012 – Though many areas of life are recovering from the economic downturn, domestic violence shelters throughout the United States report that the economy continues to significantly affect battered women and children. While shelters shine a spotlight on the widespread increase in domestic violence survivors seeking help nationwide, they also highlight a substantial decrease in shelter services, funding sources and prevention efforts to assist victims. In addition, shelters report that the abuse is getting more severe, survivors are staying in abusive relationships longer and shelters expect the situation will only stay the same or get worse in light of the economy – according to the fourth national “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey.”
More than 730 domestic violence shelters across the country were recently surveyed. Detailed national findings from the 2012 “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey”reveal alarming trends in light of the economy’s decline since 2008, including:
  • 78 percent of domestic violence shelters nationwide (nearly eight out of ten) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
  • 74 percent of survivors stayed with an abusive partner longer because of financial issues.
  • 58 percent of shelters reported that the abuse is more violent now than before 2008.
  • 87 percent of domestic violence shelters (nearly nine out of ten) expect their overall situation during the next 12 months will be worse than now, or the same as now, due to the economy.
  • 95 percent reported that survivors needed to stay in shelters for longer durations of time.
  • Of shelters that were forced to reduce services, 47 percent decreased childcare efforts, which meant that they were not able to help one in four children.
  • 86 percent of shelters witnessed negative social effects on children such as bullying or withdrawal.
  • 62 percent reported that young women (age 12-24) are requesting help in greater numbers.
  • 92 percent of shelters had to end or scale back specific programs and services.

The survey’s overwhelming trends are remarkably similar in each region of the United States – Northeast, Midwest, South and West. Detailed regional findings are available upon request.


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