U.S. women's shelters link rise in abuse to recession

Tue May 12, 2009 1:02pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three out of four domestic violence shelters in the United States report a rise in women seeking help since September and 73 percent attribute it to financial issues, according to a survey on Tuesday.

The survey by cosmetics company Mary Kay polled more than 600 domestic violence shelters around the United States. The region with the largest reported rise was the South, at 78 percent, and the least was the West, with 71 percent.

"The economic downturn is exacerbating domestic violence," Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said in a statement.

Nearly half of those polled cited job loss as a major factor behind the rise in domestic abuse.

The loss of a home or a vehicle was another factor, particularly in the Midwest where 44 percent of those polled cited that as contributing to the rise in abuse.

(Reporting by Claudia Parsons' Editing by Michelle Nichols and Bill Trott)