Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Domestic violence shelters throughout the United States report the economy continues to significantly affect women – with domestic violence increasing for the third straight year and government cutbacks decreasing shelters’ ability to help survivors.  In addition to domestic violence incidents growing and funding sources diminishing, the abuse is reportedly more severe, victims are struggling to find jobs and shelters expect the situation will only get worse in light of the economy – according to the third “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” national survey.

More than 670 domestic violence shelters across the country were surveyed in March 2011.  Shelters report the economy’s decline since 2008 has increased demand for their services, and they also note their shelters’ ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered over the next 12 months.  Detailed findings from the 2011 “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” survey reveal alarming trends in light of the economy’s decline since 2008, including:
·         80 percent of domestic violence shelters nationwide (more than three out of four) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
·         73 percent of shelters attribute this rise in abuse to financial issues.
·         48 percent of shelters link this increase in domestic violence to job loss.
·         89 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation during the next 12 months will be worse than now, or the same as now, due to the economy.
·         76 percent of domestic violence shelters (three out of four) indicate their funding has decreased the most from governmental organizations.
·         65 percent of women in shelters can’t find employment due to the economy.
·         56 percent of shelters note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.
·         77 percent of shelters (more than three-fourths) indicate their clients stayed longer in their relationships due to the state of the economy.
Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc. vice president of government relations and board member for The Mary Kay FoundationSM, added:  “The survey results clearly identify the increasing need for supporting women and children affected by domestic violence nationwide – especially in a challenging economy.  Mary Kay pledges once again to continue its commitment to preventing and ending this epidemic.  For nearly 48 years, we’ve been true to our approach of doing well by doing good.  And we will continue to stand on our promise to help change the lives of women and children in the United States and around the world.”

The third “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” survey polled 672 domestic violence shelters across the United States about domestic violence and the economy since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy.  The study was conducted online between March 14-30, 2011.  Comprehensive 2011 survey findings summarize national and regional results.  Mary Kay conducted its first nationwide survey of shelters in 2009 and second in 2010.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Great Ways to Help Make A Difference with Break the Cycle, Joyful Heart Foundation, and the Allstate Foundation

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If you've never participated in Chase Community Giving before, you'll be to asked to “like” Chase Community Giving ( ) and grant the application access to your Facebook profile--once you click "Allow" you'll be taken through to the voting page.

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Friday, April 08, 2011


Men who are abused by their female partners can suffer significant psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to two new papers published by the American Psychological Association.

Although most reported domestic abuse is committed by men against women, a growing body of research has picked up on the prevalence and significance of domestic violence perpetrated against men, says research published in the April issue of Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

“Given the stigma surrounding this issue and the increased vulnerability of men in these abusive relationships, we as mental health experts should not ignore the need for more services for these men,” said British researcher Anna Randle, PsyD, lead author of a paper summarizing two decades of research into domestic violence effects on men.

Approximately 8 percent of men and 25 percent of women reported being sexually or physically assaulted by a current or former partner, according to the National Violence against Women Survey, which polled 8,000 men and 8,000 women and was published by the National Institute of Justice in 1998. While this survey did not indicate the sex of the perpetrator, it provided the most up-to-date comprehensive interpersonal violence statistics at the time of the study, according to the researchers.

One analysis of the survey’s results showed that male victims were just as likely to suffer from PTSD as female victims of domestic abuse. In addition, psychological abuse was just as strongly associated with PTSD as was physical violence in these male victims. “This raises questions and concerns for male victims of domestic violence, given findings that women are more likely to perpetrate psychological than physical aggression toward male partners,” wrote Randle.

Randle noted one study showing that abuse rates among same-sex couples are similar to those of heterosexual couples. However, the depth of research on male same-sex couples is limited when compared to studies of heterosexual couples, she said.

In the second study, led by Denise Hines, PhD, from Clark University, researchers looked at two independent sample groups totaling 822 men between the ages of 18 and 59. The first sample was composed of 302 men who had sought professional help after being violently abused by their female partners. The authors called this “intimate terrorism,” characterized by much violence and controlling behavior.

The second sample was composed of 520 men randomly recruited to participate in a national phone survey in which they were asked questions about their relationship. Of this general community, 16 percent said they had sustained minor acts of violent and psychological abuse during arguments with their female partners. This type of abuse was referred to in the research as “common couple violence,” in which both partners lashed out physically at each other.

The researchers found that in both groups of men, there were associations between abuse and post-traumatic stress symptoms. However, the “intimate terror victims” who had sought professional help were at a much greater risk of developing PTSD than the men from the general community group who said they had engaged in more minor acts of violence with their partners, according to the researchers.

“This is the first study to show that PTSD is a major concern among men who sustain partner violence and seek help,” said Hines.

Research has shown severe underreporting of spousal or partner abuse of men, according to Randle. For example, men are not as likely to report serious injuries due to abuse, and psychological or less violent abuse is more likely to go unreported to authorities. In addition, police are less likely to arrest female suspects accused of violence than male suspects, according to another study cited by Randle.

The lack of reliable data has led to some confusion in the literature on domestic violence effects on men, the researchers said. They suggest more rigorous research focusing specifically on male victims.

Article: “A Review of the Evidence on the Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Men.” Anna A. Randle, PsyD, Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care, England; Cynthia A. Graham, PhD, Brunel University, England; Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Vol. 12, No.2.

Article: “Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Men Who Sustain Intimate Partner Violence: A Study of Help seeking and Community Samples.” Denise A. Hines, PhD, Clark University; Emily M. Douglas, PhD, Bridgewater State College; Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Vol. 12, No. 2.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Workplace Violence Down 75 Percent Since 1993

Here's some great news -- workplace violence fell 75 percent from 1993 to 2009, affecting law enforcement officers, security guards and bartenders the most, U.S. officials say.

Erika Harrell, a statistician at the Justice Department Bureau of Justice Statistics, says workplace violence dropped from 2.1 million non-fatal violent crimes in 1993 to 572,000 non-fatal violent crimes in 2009. Non-fatal violent crimes are defined as rape, robbery or assault.

The number of workplace homicides decreased by 51 percent, from a high of 1,068 homicides in 1993 to 521 homicides in 2009, Harrell says. Eighty percent of workplace homicides were shootings.

Who is victimized? Males had a higher rate of workplace violence. Non-Hispanic whites had a higher rate of workplace violence than non-Hispanic blacks and people ages 20-34 had the highest rate of workplace violence.

What about who commits the violence?  Strangers committed about 53 percent of non-fatal workplace violence against males and about 41 percent against females. From 2005 to 2009, 38 percent of workplace homicide offenders were robbers, 32 percent were other assailants, 21 percent were work associates and 8 percent were spouses, relatives and other personal acquaintances.

An interesting question - what will the "downtick" or "uptick" be from 2009 - 2011? Some people believe the economic downturn has caused an increase in workplace violence.  Is this true?  Or does it just "seem" that way to us? 

And while it's great that workplace violence in general has gone down,  if you are an employer (or employee) dealing with an unsafe workplace situation, it doesn't matter to you if workplace violence is "on the decline" don't feel safe and you need help. That's why we are thankful we can assist employers who are members of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence in "real time" - and provide general information to employers who call or email us. 

Visit our website at for resources and information. (And don't forget, just like outside of work, violence at work is a crime.  Report it to law enforcement.)

(The report, Workplace Violence, 1993-2009, (NCJ 233231), is available at )