Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign to raise awareness about the harm financial abuse can bring to victims of domestic violence, written in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect.
Last year I wrote about my friend who was a victim of domestic violence, and how shocked I was to learn of her ordeal. To the outside world, my friend had the perfect life: beautiful kids, lovely home, and a husband with a successful business. They seemed to have it all.
However, my friend’s life was far from perfect. Behind the scenes, she was being verbally abused, physically threatened and stalked when she went out to meet friends. She was also the victim of financial abuse. Her husband was bullying her into giving him her hard-earned money, then he spent it recklessly. She watched as her family’s financial security began crumbling away.
She was trapped, just like thousands of victims of domestic violence, unable to afford to leave her home and seek freedom from abuse. Domestic violence is unfortunately not talked about enough, but financial abuse is spoken of even less.
It can take many forms. The abuser can:
Ruin a victim’s credit by running up crushing debt.
Drain the victim’s bank account.
Harass her as work, causing her to lose her job and family’s financial security.
The most common reason that victims of domestic violence are unable to leave their harmful situation is that they don’t have the financial resources to do so. Financial literacy is the key to freedom for victims, and a powerful movement called Allstate Foundation Purple Purse was created to bring an end to the violence and financial abuse.
Here are some alarming facts: eight in ten Americans are unaware that financial abuse is a form of domestic violence, and that it’s a factor in almost 100% of domestic violence cases. Only one in three Americans have actually had a conversation about domestic violence, even though the majority of American believe it’s a serious problem.
Allstate’s Purple Purse movement aims to make it fashionable to have conversations about domestic violence. Allstate is putting its money where its mouth is by donating over $500,000 to the Purple Purse Challenge. You can get involved too! Visit PurplePurse.com to contribute to a nonprofit near you that fights domestic violence. Your contribution can help make that nonprofit eligible for incentive funding from Allstate Foundation.
Fashion icon Kerry Washington is the Purple Purse ambassador, and she has designed an amazing bag symbolizing the importance of women’s financial independence and freedom from financial abuse. Check it out:
Be sure to visit PurplePurse.com for resources on how to know the signs of domestic violence and financial abuse.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Let’s have a conversation about domestic violence in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.