Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with the Allstate Foundation® #PurplePurse Challenge and Latina Bloggers Connect. However all opinions expressed are my own.
If you’ve lived a life free of domestic violence and the hidden hurt associated with it, consider yourself lucky. Domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime – 1 in 4 – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined. Yeah, that’s a lot. Regardless of whether you’ve experienced it first hand, lived it through a friend or family member, or just can’t seem to shake free from the image of the Ray Rice video, it is real and something that needs to be talked about and steps taken to help end it. Thanks to the Allstate Foundation #PurplePurse Challenge here’s how we can do our part.
Studies already show that 2/3’s of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem, but only 1 in 3 of us ever talk about it. And we need to talk beyond the physical abuse associated with domestic violence. We need to also acknowledge the financial abuse that happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence. In fact, 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.
The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to make it fashionable to talk about this difficult topic, while breaking the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time. To start the ball rolling, the Allstate Foundation has invested more than half a million dollars in the #PurplePurse Challenge and is now asking their customers to join the cause. Together they hope we can raise money for 145 nonprofit community partners across the U.S. who provide critical financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. The more donations each Community Partner gets, the more Allstate Foundation funding the organization is eligible to receive. All the funds raised will support life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families; which according to new evidence from the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University School of Social Work, is exactly what’s needed to create a path toward long-term safety and security for survivors.
So open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors because money or lack there of, should never be a reason to stay in a damaging relationship. Instead of recounting the painful images caught on camera with the Ray Rice scandal let’s do something to take action. You can help ensure domestic violence survivors – likely someone you know – aren’t financially trapped in an unhealthy relationship by visiting PurplePurse.com now through October 3. While there, feel free to review the resources provided to openly discuss and recognize domestic violence and all the other forms of abuse associated with it. I know I personally have lived through things that I wish I never witnessed or knew about my friends and family. It is so uncomfortable to even recount here, but what I learned through it all is that while I know there’s always a choice – whether to stay or leave the abuser – when you’re in the thick of it, it doesn’t always feel that way to the victim(s). It is because there is so much emotional baggage attached to each situation, that the best thing to do is to just offer support, without judgment.
To continue to bring this program into the forefront, Emmy-nominated actress and domestic violence activist, Kerry Washington will lend her voice and design abilities via 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.
If you can’t get your hands on Kerry’s limited edition purse, you can use a Purple Purse charm to attach to your favorite bag and show your support year round. They are being distributed with inspiring survivor stories to #PurplePurse Challenge participants and agents. I know I received mine with an inspiring story from Pilar.
So get out there and be a supportive ear to those around you and/or offer a monetary donation to this important cause.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
What causes are near and dear to your heart?