Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Football is a huge part of life here in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. Many, many people around town sport football-themed bumper stickers on their cars, the schools have children wear their favorite football shirts or jerseys on Fridays, and the game is on at restaurants and barber shops on Sundays.
Unfortunately, football hasn’t been all fun and games lately. I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of Ray Rice, the star running back for the Baltimore Ravens who infamously punched his fiancee so hard that she passed out in a casino elevator, and was then caught on camera dragging her unconscious body out of said elevator. Seeing a very much-loved football hero do something so violent and despicable was hard for Ravens fans to accept, but fortunately, this case has shed light on a terrible, but rampant, problem: domestic violence.
Many of us think that domestic violence is exactly like the Ray Rice incident: physical abuse of one partner by the other, but that’s not solely the case. Financial abuse happens much more frequently, and is a way for an abuser to trap his or her partner in the relationship. According to statistics, roughly 98% of domestic abuse cases involve some sort of financial abuse. When a person doesn’t have the financial resources to leave, they usually have no choice but to stay with their abuser.
The statistics sound grim, but there is hope! In order to bring awareness AND financial support to victims of domestic and financial abuse, The Allstate Foundation has started the Purple Purse Challenge. Along with their own investment of over half a million dollars, Allstate is asking us to help provide funding to local domestic abuse offices through Purple Purse.
These funds will go straight into our local communities for the express purpose of helping people leave abusive situations and gain financial knowledge and skills they need to live on their own. Recent research from the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University shows that when an abuse survivor’s skills, resources and financial literacy are increased, they can start down a path of long-term safety and security.
To show your support for the Purple Purse movement, you can attach one of these purple purse charms to your own purse (purple or not!) and wear it all year long. They are available though Purple Purse Challenge participants and Allstate agency owners.
Most importantly, please visit the Purple Purse website to find out how you might be able to help someone you know who is experiencing domestic abuse. The site lists signs to look for and ways that you can start a conversation to help free someone from their terrible situation. If someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.