To bring awareness to dating violence, an epidemic that impacts one in three young people today, American actress, singer and rising star Debby Ryan is partnering with global cosmetics giant Mary Kay as the company’s newest cause champion. Known for her starring role as television’s “Jessie,” Ryan will travel the country to help educate teens and young adults on healthy relationships, how to recognize the signs of dating abuse and raise awareness of support services.
Ryan will also serve as the spokesperson for Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away campaign to help prevent and end dating abuse. The program includes the nation’s first-ever text-for-help service powered by loveisrespect that provides safe and anonymous advice to tens of thousands of young people each year via text. Simply by texting “love is” to 22522, teens and young adults can receive help from trained peer advocates anytime, anywhere.
“It’s horrifying to know how many young people deal with abusive relationships and how much goes unmentioned,” said Ryan. “I know firsthand how alone you can feel when you’re being broken down in a relationship and forced to defend it or stay silent. Just being able to send a text message is anonymous and safe. Mary Kay and I believe that everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship that makes you stronger and better and I want to make sure people know how to get the help they need.”
According to the most recent Truth About Abuse Survey conducted by Mary Kay, 73 percent of teens and young adults experienced emotional abuse in their dating relationship and 40 percent never talked to anyone about the abusive behavior. As a Mary Kay Cause Champion, Ryan will lend her voice to the company’s steadfast commitment to put an end to these alarming statistics and eradicate dating violence.
For more information about Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away program, visit marykay.com/dontlookaway.