Did you know that domestic violence affects one in four women in her lifetime?
That’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined. Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence. Yet, did you know financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.
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 reason most survivors stay or return to an abusive relationship is because they don’t have the financial resources to break free.
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.
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.
Two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem.
Yet, just over 1 in 3 have ever talked about it. That’s why Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to make it fashionable to talk about this difficult topic. Allstate Foundation is investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit gets, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding.
Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation has invested more than $40 million across the country to help domestic violence survivors regain control of their finances and break free from abuse.
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.
What can you do?
You can help ensure domestic violence survivors – likely someone you know – aren’t financially trapped in an abusive relationship by joining the Purple Purse Challenge. Open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors and the organizations that serve them at PurplePurse.com between between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you.
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.
Purplepurse.com has important tips and tools to help you recognize domestic violence and financial abuse, talk about it and end it.
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.
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.