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Impact of National Domestic Violence Trend

May 7, 2012

The Florida Resource Center for Women and Children, Inc. in Riviera Beach Experiences First-Hand Impact of Increasing National Domestic Violence Trend

 “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey” Shows Domestic Violence Rises Nationwide for Fourth Year, Despite Economy Recovering;Demand for Help is Up – Funding is Down

 (Riviera Beach, FL – May 7, 2012) – As part of an alarming national trend, the Florida Resource Center for Women and Children, Inc. (FRCWC) reports the economy continues to significantly affect women in the Palm Beach County region area – including domestic violence, despite a recently reported statewide decrease in the number of violent crimes in 2011.

In 2011, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Uniform Crime Report, Palm Beach County experienced a .06 percent increase in domestic violence. During the same period, FRCWC provided more than 4,000 nights of safe shelter for more than 200 domestic violence victims and their family members.

Across the United States though many areas of life are recovering from the economic downturn, domestic violence shelters 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.

Shandra Dawkins, executive director of FRCWC states:  “The ‘Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey’ confirms for the fourth year in a row that the economy is affecting cases of domestic violence and the situation is becoming worse nationwide.  While the economy does not create domestic violence, a downturn can exacerbate the frequency and severity of abuse.  The demand for domestic violence services continues to increase significantly, yet at the same time, funding sources are down. Last year we received more than 2,600 calls for help and we estimate that twice as many victims would like to call for assistance but are too afraid. This survey data will be crucial to help raise much-needed funds.  We applaud companies like Mary Kay for stepping up and strongly urge others to do their part to help end domestic violence.”

Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc. Vice President and The Mary Kay FoundationSM Board Member noted, “The ‘Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey’ represents more than staggering numbers. It signifies lives in the balance.  Domestic violence shelters across the country can mean the difference between life and death, yet the economy continues to plague shelters and the women and children they serve.  The truth about abuse is that survivors and their children continue to feel the negative effects of the economy in profound ways.  This crime is a community issue.  Individuals and businesses must get involved in efforts to educate, prevent, and eventually end, domestic violence.”

About the Florida Resource Center for Women and Children, Inc.

Since 1999, FRCWC has been a change agent for peace and empowerment to end abuse and violence and a statewide leader in domestic violence education, advocacy, collaborative partnerships, awareness and direct services for more than 12,000 women, children and men in Palm Beach County (FL). Grounded in the principle that everyone has a right to live a life that is safe, productive and peaceful, FRCWC’s more than 30 programs provide services that focus on prevention, intervention, social and economic independence. Visit FRCWC online at

About Mary Kay

Mary Kay is one of the world’s largest direct selling companies with more than $3 billion in annual wholesale sales worldwide.  Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash with the goal of helping women achieve personal growth and financial success.  Mary Kay remains committed to enriching women’s lives, and today more than 2.4 million people of all backgrounds are enjoying the advantages of being Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants.  Mary Kay’s high-quality skin care and color cosmetic products are sold in more than 35 countries around the world.  To learn more about Mary Kay, visit


Source: Florida Resource Center for Women and Children, Inc. (FRCWC)
P.O. Box 10596
Riviera Beach, FL 33419

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