To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation is awarding grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the country. This year, the annual grant program will award a total of $3 million to address a critical need for services.
In a statement, Mary Kay said approximately 625 shelters applied to its grant program this year. The foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to at least one shelter in each state and distributed the remainder in proportion to state population. The unrestricted funds will enable shelters to cover basic operating expenses, hire personnel, make necessary renovations and create new programs.
The Mary Kay Foundation is dedicated to combatting both domestic violence and women’s cancers. The shelter grant program is one element of the company’s Don’t Look Away anti-domestic violence campaign. Mary Kay also has sponsored text-for-help service loveisrespect to prevent dating abuse and worked with the national headquarters of sorority Alpha Chi Omega to equip its members with healthy relationship tools and education.
The 2015 Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey, released this month in partnership with loveisrespect, sheds light on Americans’ evolving understanding of and attitudes toward the issue of domestic violence. Sixty-five percent of respondents nationwide said they have experienced domestic violence, either personally or through someone they know. While abuse is widespread, so too are efforts such as Mary Kay’s to educate and equip the public. Among those surveyed, 53 percent said their understanding of the issue has improved in the past five years.