Not Red Or Blue, Just Black And White

11-11-2013 7:30 AM

So, do you consider yourself a Republican or a Democrat?  Are you a liberal or a conservative?  Maybe somewhere in between?  These are emotionally charged questions these days.  But there are some issues that transcend politics. Some issues aren’t “red” or “blue” – they’re just black and white.

Long before the government shutdown, Obamacare and debt ceilings – before Iraq and Afghanistan – even before 9/11, hanging chads and Monica Lewinsky – there was an issue that was also controversial and even now struggles to get attention.  Mary Kay Inc. took on the prevention and end of domestic violence as its main philanthropic focus almost 20 years ago in the mid 1990’s.  We were one of the first companies in America to get involved by supporting a bill sponsored by then US Senator Joe Biden from Delaware called the Violence Against Women Act.  Before 1995 there were no federal dollars or support for local police departments and district attorneys to arrest and prosecute those who beat women they claimed to love. Get this, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in a relationship at some point in their lifetime and 1 in 3 young women will experience abuse in a dating relationship. Astounding! These women are our mothers and grandmothers, aunts and sisters, co-workers, neighbors and friends – our daughters.  Some of you reading this have been in an abusive relationship.  Maybe you’re in one right now.

One of the most meaningful parts of my job is the opportunity to see how Mary Kay’s efforts at giving back actually make a difference.  So, last week when Vice President Joe Biden visited Love is Respect and the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas for a tour and to say thanks to all of those organizations, including Mary Kay, that have committed themselves to this issue, we had a front row seat.  Mary Kay is the lead sponsor of the Love is Respect text for help service – the nation’s first texting program designed to help young people with healthy dating and relationships.  Because let’s face it, young people aren’t going to pick up a phone and call a 1-800 number these days to get help or advice – but they might text – and we saw firsthand, along with the Vice President, that in fact young people are texting for help.

So, for a moment, let’s put partisanship aside and recognize that getting a chance to be in the same room with the Vice President of the United States of America while he thanks Mary Kay for a job well done in the ongoing work to end violence against women, is pretty darn cool.

And by the way, if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse and needs help, send the text “loveis” to 22522. 

Today's blog post is from Crayton Webb. Crayton is the Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at Mary Kay, Inc. For more information about this and other ways that Mary Kay is committed to ending domestic violence, please visit www.marykay.com/dontlookaway.