The YWCA Evanston/North Shore is one of 150 domestic violence organizations participating in the program. The grant will be used to support the YWCA’s emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence, community services for women in abusive situations, and legal advocacy for women seeking orders of protection.

“This grant is hugely important,” said Karen Singer, Executive Director. “Not only does it help fill a deficit in funding this year but gives us hope and strength to continue what we do. Domestic Violence is not going away and deserves very serious attention. Programs to help battered women and their children require a lot of resources. That’s why we are thankful to The Mary Kay Foundation for helping us help families in our communities.

Domestic Violence Outlook

According to the second “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” national survey conducted in March 2010, the economic downturn has increased demand for services at domestic violence shelters. Shelters also report, the ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered into 2011. Due to the economy, the survey also revealed:

• 88 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation will worsen, or remain the same into 2011.

• Three out of four domestic violence shelters (77 percent) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.

• 51 percent of shelters nationwide note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.

“In light of the economic downturn and alarming increases in domestic violence, the Mary Kay Foundation’s mission is more critical than ever before. YWCA Evanston/North Shore has helped so many women and their families in northeastern metropolitan Chicago. We know they will use these funds to benefit even more domestic violence survivors and their children and help end domestic violence,” said Jennifer Cook, The Mary Kay Foundation board member.

The YWCA Evanston/North Shore operates the only comprehensive residential domestic violence facility in northeastern metropolitan Chicago. Each year women and children in crisis call Mary Lou’s Place home, and find the help they need to heal from abuse and move toward safe, independent lives.

About The Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $25 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $14 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States.