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CAASA receives part of $3 million nationwide grant

Friday, September 25, 2009

Domestic violence shelters receive much needed cash infusion in light of the economic downturn

SPENCER - CAASA (Center Against Abuse and Sexual Assault) has been chosen to receive a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation as part of the organization's annual $3 million national domestic violence grant program. CAASA is one of 150 domestic violence organizations participating in the program. The grant will be used to increase service awareness in the eight county service area of Northwest Iowa as well as provide much needed support for adult and youth victims of intimate partner terrorism.

"This grant is such a blessing to CAASA in a variety of ways," said Rhonda Dean, Executive Director. "Not only does it make up for 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 so thankful The Mary Kay Foundation is helping us help families in Spencer and the surrounding area."

The economic climate has not only caused a decrease in donations but can also be attributed to an increase in the need for domestic violence services. In May 2009, Mary Kay's Truth About Abuse survey of domestic violence shelters across the country revealed some alarming results: three out of four domestic violence shelters report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy. The survey data directly connects the downturn in the economy to an increase in domestic violence.

"In light of the economic downturn and alarming increases in domestic violence, The Mary Kay Foundation's mission is more critical than ever before. CAASA has helped so many women and their families in Northwest Iowa. 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 Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA) provides crisis intervention, which could include crisis counseling, advocacy, shelter, and information and referral for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Services also include prevention education and community awareness surrounding these issues. CAASA serves eight counties including Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Palo Alto and Sac.

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 $22 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and $13 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation, log on to www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).



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