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Kerry Washington Takes on Financial Domestic Abuse

Updated on December 28, 2017

Kerry Washington Takes on Financial Domestic Dispute

A Purple Purse Can Put an End to Financial Abuse

Have you ever watched a movie where a woman has had enough and gets up and leaves? In the movies women can leave a man whenever she feels like. Moves out to her mother's house or her sister's house. In the movies women can pack, take the children and go.

But that's only in the movies Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Actress and advocate Kerry Washington realizes this.

In a press release she states, “A purse is where a woman’s power lives. I am really proud of this bag, and having the opportunity to design a fashion statement that carries such an important message,” said Washington. “Financial control is almost always a weapon of choice for abusers because when a victim’s access to cash is taken away or her credit is destroyed or even her employment is jeopardized, it becomes nearly impossible for her to leave.”

In today's society women make seventy nine cents to every dollar a man makes. In today's society sometimes it's cost-effective for the person who makes the least amount of money to stay home and care for the children rather than pay for daycare.

People make plans to get married, have children and raise a family. What they do not count on is the relationship breaking down for one reason or the other. If a woman wants to leave she does not have the autoimmunity or finances to do so. Therefore, she is trapped. She is trapped in a home and in a relationship she cannot leave.

Kerry Washington aims to change all of this. Some women don't have mother's they can move in with or sister's they can go back to for a myriad of reasons.

In an interview with the Huffington Post Kerry Washington explained how AllState's Purple Purse Initiative can grant freedom to women who seek it. “There are so many ways to tackle this issue,” she said. “You have to work from a psychological level, an emotional level. But learning that financial abuse is such a huge component in why women stay, it just feels like, oh, we can give this concrete tool, this very tangible tool for women to be able to take care of themselves, save their lives, save their families, and transform their communities.”

Why Don't You Just Leave?

The Purple Purse Foundation understands the complexities of leaving an abusive spouse. This foundation is an answer to a question women who don't have the financial means to get up and leave.

Relationship issues is something that is difficult for women to discuss. It's embarrassing and humiliating. How can one go back to friends and family members who may have one point warned the now victim that this could have happened. Pride swallowed and set aside even if a woman does come forward for help it's not as simple as asking for advice. They would be asking for a hand out - money that in this economic climate friends and family may not be able to part with.

From Victim to Survivor is the Purple Purse's Objective

According to the Purple Purse's website there is more to financial abuse than what is commonly known.

  • 1 in 4 women report experiencing domestic violence in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer combined.
  • Lacking financial knowledge and resources is the number one indicator of whether a domestic violence victim will stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship.
  • Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. It affects all incomes, races and communities.
  • Domestic violence kills an average of 3 women each day.
  • Women ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.

AllState's Moving Ahead Through Financial Management

The Allstate Foundation’s Moving Ahead Through Financial Management is structured to empower survivors to construct a plan and handle their finances.

  • Strategies for addressing the complex financial and safety challenges of ending a relationship with an abusive partner.
  • Information on how to protect personal and financial safety in an abusive relationship and after leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Tools to help people of all incomes and earning power work toward long-term financial empowerment; including budgeting tools, step-by-step planners and more.
  • Tactics for locating and accessing local, state and national personal safety and financial resources.
  • Methods for dealing with the misuse of financial records.
  • Resources for working through the financial and safety challenges of identity change.
  • The user-friendly curriculum is available in a variety of formats, including hard copy, Spanish-language and downloadable versions.


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