Today I am bringing a very special post to my blog, it is something that I never thought I'd talk about on here but when the opportunity came, I knew I couldn't let it pass. I am extremely honored to have been chosen to be a part of the Purple Purse Challenge founded by the Allstate Foundation.
As a Latina I am proud to say that I am a part of the driven, hard working, independent, caring and strong type of women. Unfortunately I am sad to say that many of these women have suffered or had someone close to them be victims of domestic violence and financial abuse.
I myself know a handful of women who have gone through these terrifying times. Domestic violence affects one in four women in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.
Domestic violence and financial abuse don't discriminate against anyone, in fact it can happen to everyone and in many countries they are a part of the norm. Personally knowing survivors, strong women who have not only fought against this terrible action against them but who have also had the courage to walk away and seek help, I know that spreading a message of hope is important.
One of the most important people in my life is a survivor; my mother is my hero because she was strong when many thought she was weak. On a night when my father was out of town, my mother packed up our house and with two young girls, left to an unknown country. Though many people would criticize her actions, not many would know what she had to endure. I definitely think that if she would have had the help that is being provided and had the information, she would have done it sooner.
Domestic violence and financial abuse often go hand-in-hand, 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. 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.
I have heard many stories and watched many testimonials, but there is nothing like living in that moment. It is terrifying and unfair and that is one of the reasons why I choose to speak out about domestic violence and financial abuse. 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.
I am speaking out against domestic violence and financial abuse and I hope other women are courageous enough to do the same. When you face your fear, they no longer have any power over you. A very touching TedTalk (watch here) brought me to tears, as well as countless of videos encouraging awareness.
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 PurplePurse.com.
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 PurplePurse.com between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you
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.
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.