Nobody knows more about the impact of partner violence on the workplace - and how businesses should address it.
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Mary Kay Inc.
In January 2005 Mary Kay Inc. underwrote a landmark grant designed to enhance efforts to prosecute domestic violence cases in Dallas County. The $200,000 two-year grant believed to be the first of its kind in the nation will fund the addition of a fourth felony investigator for the family violence section of the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and will combine with other funds to create an additional caseworker position for the section. "Mary Kay is making this grant as part of our overall efforts to enrich women's lives," said Anne Crews, the company's vice president for governmental relations (and vice president of CAEPV's Board of Directors). "We think it's time for businesses to partner with law enforcement in prosecuting violence against women and children, so we're making this grant to the exemplary program developed by the Dallas County District Attorney. We hope companies in other jurisdictions around the nation will do likewise." The rare grant from the corporate sector will augment a $700,000 federal grant that is paying the salary of a prosecutor and a caseworker in the family violence division, as well as funding a Dallas police detective assigned to the county courthouse, a case manager for the Family Place women's shelter and a legal aid attorney. The donation is the first of its kind for Mary Kay and the related Mary Kay Ash Foundation, though the organizations have given more than $3 million to programs and services to stop domestic violence across the country.

In October 2004 Mary Kay Inc. and Verizon Wireless (also a CAEPV member) sponsored the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women annual humanitarian awards dinner in Beverly Hills. Awards for "Public Service," "Violence Prevention," "Corporate," "Media," "Volunteer of the Year" and "Community" are presented each year to individuals and entities who have been selected for their outstanding contributions.

In July of 2003, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation announced a grant of $500,000 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) for their "National Safe and Strategic Technology Project" (Safety NET). The grant honored Mary Kay Inc.'s 40th Anniversary on September 13, 2003. The Safety NET project was developed to educate victims and advocates about safely using technology -- such as cell phones e-mail and the Internet -- when fleeing an abusive relationship. The Safety NET project has teamed up with some of the best minds in high-tech industries in an effort to stay one step ahead of the battle. For more information about the Safety NET project, log on to www.mkacf.org or www.nnedv.org.

In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Mary Kay Inc. and the Mary Kay Charitable Foundation underwrote production of a PBS special documentary entitled "Breaking the Silence: Journeys of Hope." The 60-minute special, airing nationwide, premiered on PBS stations beginning in October 2001. It tells the powerful stories of women who have broken their silence about domestic violence and who have taken the first steps toward creating healthy, stable lives for themselves. The film focuses on how these women became survivors and turned their lives around, rather than documenting tragic circumstances. Program producers were Tatge/Lasseur Productions and Connecticut Public Broadcasting.

Additional information about the documentary - including how to obtain copies of the video and facilitator's guide (in English and Spanish) - is available on the Mary Kay website, at the following link: Breaking the Silence: Journeys of Hope.
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