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Mary Kay Isn't Looking Away

Cosmetics company’s campaigns aimed at raising domestic violence awareness

  • March 10, 2017
  • By domesticshelters.org
Mary Kay Isn't Looking Away

Domestic violence isn’t pretty. So why would one of the nation’s largest cosmetic companies want to get involved in the cause? Because it recognizes that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and they want to help.

Company founder Mary Kay Ash was a philanthropist all her life. When she noticed that some of her independent beauty consultants were suffering in silence from domestic abuse, she decided to get involved with the movement. Though Ash died in 2001 at age 83, the company continues her legacy today with financial contributions and continues to push for domestic violence awareness.

“Mary Kay’s mission is to enrich women’s lives. That simply cannot occur when domestic violence is present,” said Crayton Webb, Vice President of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility for Mary Kay Inc.

“Many of the one in four women experiencing domestic violence in the U.S. are members of Mary Kay’s independent sales force. Those aren’t just statistics—they are real women who often suffer from unspeakable abuse at the hands of someone they love. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Since 2000, Mary Kay has donated more than $31 million to domestic violence organizations across the country.

In 2012, the company awarded a grant to loveisrespect to help support the dating abuse text message helpline. The grant was part of a larger initiative by the company’s Don’t Look Away campaign, which featured a series of videos aimed at educating the public on how to recognize the signs of abuse and what to do when abuse is apparent. The company also worked to raise awareness of survivor support services.

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They Surveyed Parents

Through Don’t Look Away, the company also conducted a survey of parents regarding their role in preventing dating violence. Some of the findings include:

  • Eighty-one percent of parents of 11-14 year olds say their adolescent has not yet had any romantic relationships while nearly half of 11-14 year olds say they have.
  • Nearly two-thirds of 11- to 14-year-olds who date say they have been called names or insulted by their partner, yet only a third of their parents knew that.
  • Four out of five parents have talked to their adolescents about dating violence, and sixty percent went over the warning signs of abuse.

“The fact that dating abuse impacts one in three teens in the U.S. today is simply unacceptable,” says Webb. “The necessary change in attitude toward abuse must start at a young age.”

They Changed the Conversation

Mary Kay’s Man Up campaign aims to change the meaning of “man up” to describe behavior that is respectful toward women and other men. The company put together a video explaining why telling men and boys to “man up” is detrimental to both sexes and what the term should be used to convey instead.

See what other organizations are doing to raise awareness about domestic violence and help survivors on our Heroes page.