Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away Program Seeks to End Dating Abuse Amongst Teens and Young Adults
Dallas, Oct. 1, 2012 – One in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and as a part of the company’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness and end dating violence, Mary Kay has awarded a $1 million grant to loveisrespect to support the nation’s first and only dating abuse text message helpline. Mary Kay is the lead sponsor for this “text for help” service designed to support young people in building healthy relationships and, ultimately, ending dating abuse.
The grant to loveisrespect is a component of Mary Kay’s “Don’t Look Away” campaign. “Don’t Look Away” seeks to educate the public on how to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, how to take action, and to raise awareness of a variety of survivor support services.
“Mary Kay is focused on breaking the cycle of domestic violence before it starts,” said Crayton Webb, Mary Kay Inc.’s director of corporate social responsibility. “Understanding that Millennials and Gen-Y communicate predominantly through text, Mary Kay is excited to support the ‘text for help’ program focusing on prevention. Our partnership with loveisrespect will offer young women and teenagers another avenue to get help and understand what healthy dating relationships look like.”
The loveisrespect text message helpline is available throughout the United States 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By simply texting “loveis” to 22522, teens and young adults will be connected safely and anonymously to trained peer advocates who provide support, safety tips and referrals. With complete discretion, texters can get help about their own relationships or a friend’s.
Mary Kay has a long-term commitment to prevent and help end domestic violence. This commitment first started when company founder Mary Kay Ash learned that some Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants were suffering in silence from domestic abuse. Mary Kay Ash’s great granddaughter, Jessica Bair, is an advocate for healthy teen relationships and alumni of loveisrespect’s advocate program.
“Everyone deserves to be in a safe, healthy relationship,” said Jessica Bair. “Experiencing violence in a relationship has serious and immediate consequences, and there also are secondary emotional concerns that can affect the survivor’s quality of life for years. I am passionate about this issue, and am honored to work with Mary Kay and loveisrespect on this critical initiative.”
“Frank conversations about healthy, unhealthy and abusive behavior are critical to preventing abuse,” said Brian Pinero, director of loveisrespect. “We are proud to connect our innovative texting service with Mary Kay and believe that together, we are creating a generation that recognizes and uses its power to build healthy relationships.”
The grant to loveisrespect represents just one of the ways in which Mary Kay is helping to raise awareness of and provide support to end domestic violence. As part of its ongoing annual grant program which has donated $31 million to domestic violence organizations since 2000, this year The Mary Kay FoundationSM awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across all 50 states. Each shelter will receive $20,000 to maintain critical services and programs for women, teens and children who are survivors of domestic violence or dating abuse.