By Michelle Pitcher
The Dallas Morning News.
Thirteen years ago, Abi Ferrin was pushed so far by her abusive relationship that she contemplated suicide. Now, several states away from where that happened, she is sharing her story with thousands of women to help others who might be in a similar situation.
Ferrin is an advocate for cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc.’s corporate cause of ending domestic violence, a cause more companies are addressing. The cosmetics giant, which has more than 3.5 million consultants and employees worldwide, is highlighting its philanthropic aims at its annual seminar in Dallas.
By the time the conference is over on Aug. 1, Ferrin will have shared her story with more than 27,000 people. While the decision to speak publicly about her past was difficult, she thinks she can serve as a role model for a largely faceless cause.
Over the course of her past relationship, her partner drained her bank account, forcing her to become financially dependent.
He beat her and, at one point, threatened her with a gun. After a stranger witnessed one of the physical assaults, Ferrin received help and encouragement to leave the relationship.
In 2005, she moved from California to Texas, where she said her life began to turn around. She won the title of Texas’ Next Top Designer soon afterward and now has her own shop in Dallas. Boutiques around the world carry her line of clothing, and her brand focuses on advocacy for women involved in sex trafficking in other countries.
Eight months ago, she partnered with Mary Kay, based in suburban Dallas, as a chief advocate for its anti-domestic violence work, which has been a priority since 2000. The company and the Mary Kay Foundation also pledge to put an end to cancers affecting women.