Gladiators Against Domestic Violence – Purple Purse Challenge

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Now that we have the Season 4 premiere episode of Scandal under our belts, it is time to turn our attention to a cause that our beloved Olivia Pope holds dear – domestic violence.

Even now, in 2014, it is difficult for women and men to step forward and admit that they have been the victim of domestic violence. We need to rip the stigma away from those two words, and make it acceptable to talk about openly and to enable each and every one of us with the knowledge of what domestic violence is and the tools to help us help those that are in a domestic violence situation.

Turn Your Purse Purple - Purple Purse Campaign

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is making it fashionable to talk about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. 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. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time.

Kerry Washington, Purple Purse Ambassador

Our own 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.

Do You Really Know What Domestic Violence Is?

There are so many levels of domestic violence, it is not confined to “just” physical abuse. Domestic violence encompasses emotional, physical, financial, verbal, sexual as well as physical abuse towards another individual in the relationship. It does not affect just women either. Women are capable of domestic violence against their husbands and boyfriends as well.

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, 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 together, 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.

Your abuser has complete and total control over you in a financially abusive relationship. You have no access to the family funds, you must relinquish your paycheck every payday to the abuser. Most likely, the family checking and savings account are in the abuser’s name only – you have no access to any of the funds, except for what he or she gives to you.

How You Can Help Become a Gladiator Against Domestic Violence 

Join the Purple Purse Challenge and open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors and the organizations that serve them at 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 .

The 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. Go to 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. 

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.

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.

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.

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