Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A Unique Corporate Response To Domestic Violence

Dallas, TX -- Prosecutors in Dallas County domestic violence courts hope a $200,000 grant from Dallas-based Mary Kay Inc. will help reduce caseloads and streamline the process for battered women to obtain protective orders. Police, prosecutors and advocates against domestic violence have focused in the last decade to work closely and make it easier for victims to get help. But the cost of success has been a caseload increase of more than 200 percent since 1999.

The Mary Kay grant will be used to hire a fourth full-time felony investigator and help pay the salary for a caseworker who will help domestic violence victims secure protective orders. "Mary Kay's mission is to enrich women's lives, and one way our company is doing this is by working to break the silence among women about domestic violence," said Anne Crews, the company's vice president for governmental relations.

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.

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