This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect.
Difficult, polarizing, heart-breaking are all words that come to mind when it comes to talking about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is looking to help make it easier to facilitate conversation on the topic. The program ignites fundraising for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. Funds raised will support life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families.
Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined (American Cancer Society). Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence. Yet, financial abuse happens in 98 percent of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.
I wanted to take a moment to share some staggering statistics:
Domestic violence and financial abuse often go hand-in-hand, but nearly 8 in 10 Americans have not heard much about financial abuse as a form of domestic violence. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free.
Two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem, yet just over 1 in 3 have ever talked about it. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to make it fashionable to talk about this difficult topic.
Financial abuse is just as effective in controlling an abused victim as a lock and key. If her credit has been ruined, she can’t get an apartment. If her abuser constantly harasses her at work, she can lose her job. And, crushing debt run up by an abuser means it could take a survivor and her children years to fully recover from abuse.
New evidence from the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University School of Social Work indicates that boosting a survivor’s financial literacy, skills and resources can create a path toward long-term safety and security for survivors.
- Hispanics (51 percent) and African Americans (49 percent) are twice as likely to see domestic violence as a serious problem among people they know than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts (25 percent).
- Hispanic parents (58 percent) and African American parents (52 percent) have discussed domestic violence more frequently than white non-Hispanic parents (43 percent).
Kerry Washington, Emmy-nominated actress and domestic violence activist, is serving as a Purple Purse ambassador to help raise awareness for the cause and has designed a limited-edition purple purse. The purse was created to represent the center of a woman’s financial domain and to inspire women to reclaim their financial independence. Ms. Washington managed the design process of her limited-edition purple purse from start to finish and incorporated on-trend shapes, details and fabrics. It’s the hottest accessory this season from a fashion perspective, but also because it’s helping make lives safer. The purse is being used by the nonprofits participating in the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge to spark conversation about domestic violence and financial empowerment in their communities.
To turn any purse into a Purple Purse, The Allstate Foundation is widely distributing Purple Purse charms so you can show your support and attach to your favorite bag year round. They are being distributed with inspiring survivor stories through Purple Purse Challenge participants and Allstate agency owners.
I turned this off-white purse into a "Purple Purse" and hope to spark conversation and address financial empowerment in my community.
Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time. For more information and resources visit purplepurse.com (English) or visit bolsomorado.com (Espanol).
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.