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Online News Agency and Women's Opportunity Company Join Forces to Combat Domestic Violence

Published 01-14-08

Submitted by Women's eNews

NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Women's eNews and Mary Kay Inc. are combining resources to help combat domestic violence. Mary Kay has issued a grant that will fund journalists reporting for Women's eNews to provide in-depth coverage of the complex, often underreported, subject of violence against women.

The two have joined together in the hope that the reporting series, called "Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses," will increase public, government and other media awareness of domestic violence, help save lives and diminish suffering.

"Current reporting about domestic violence in other news media does not connect the dots between the specific incidents and the issues underlying the violence," said Rita Henley Jensen, editor-in-chief of Women's eNews, who is herself a former welfare mother and survivor of domestic violence -- two very related issues.

Data gathered by the U.S. Surgeon General indicate that domestic violence is the number one cause of injury to women in the U.S., where each day three more women die from domestic violence-related incidents, often as they are leaving the violent relationship.

Yet, "From the reports that typically appear in other media, most Americans would never know that a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds in the United States by someone she believes loves her, and nearly 1 in 4 women in the U.S. will suffer domestic violence in their lifetimes," Jensen said. "Moreover, they would never know the difference it can make if their local law enforcement authorities adopt innovative strategies or others in their community take action to minimize family violence."

"It's crucial to bring public focus to the devastating effects domestic violence has on women and their children, and that no part of society is exempt," said Anne Crews, vice president of Government Relations for Mary Kay Inc. Mary Kay became involved in the fight against domestic violence as services and shelters were created in Dallas in the early 1980s. "The Women's eNews reports are important because the more women learn, the safer they and their friends can be," Crews said.

"The Women's eNews reports can also serve as a spur to traditional media to investigate and report about similar stories in their communities."

During the first-year reporting under a Mary Kay Inc. grant, Women's eNews covered these issues:

-- High-Tech Stalking -- In today's high-tech society, abusers often misuse technology to stalk their victims.

-- Creative Efforts to Stem Domestic Violence -- Stories of what different advocates across the country are doing to help put a stop to domestic violence.

-- Personal Stories of Survival -- Reading about domestic violence on a deep, emotional level often helps victims take action and seek the help they need.

Women's eNews also created a special Web page on its site that provides a host of domestic-violence resources and examples of prize-winning journalism.

Dallas-based Mary Kay Inc. has been a leader in enhancing women's lives since its founding in 1963 and has focused much of this effort on ending domestic violence and helping those who are its victims.

"With a predominately female independent sales force of more than 700,000 in the United States alone, Mary Kay seemed to be a perfect match to support our online women's news agency that is read by women and media around the world," Jensen said. "We're a nonprofit news agency, so without this grant, this special series would not be possible."

In addition, the Mary Kay-funded Special Report series will include resources for women who want to safely get out of violent relationships. "Sixty percent of women who die from a domestic violence-related incident die when they are trying to seek help for themselves. These resources are especially important in today's society where abusers often misuse technology to keep a close eye on their victims," Crews said.

About Mary Kay Inc.:

Mary Kay Inc. has made a long-term commitment and devoted significant resources to ending domestic violence and enriching women's lives. As one of the of the world's largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics, its independent sales force, mostly women, exceeds 1.7 million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants in more than 30 markets worldwide. To learn more about the Company or to find an Independent Beauty Consultant near you, visit www.marykay.com.

About Women's eNews:

Women's eNews is a prize-winning nonprofit news service supported by its readers and other donors. It is the definitive source of substantive news -- unavailable anywhere else -- covering issues of particular concern to women and their allies. Launched in 2000, the independent media outlet reaches 4 million readers per month and has won 28 journalism awards, including Prevention for Safer Society Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. For more information go to www.womensenews.org.

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