June 22, 2017

Chilling video exposes No. 1 reason victims of domestic violence can’t ‘just leave’

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse and tennis star Serena Williams partner to bring awareness to domestic financial abuse

A new video from Allstate Foundation Purple Purse shows the chilling effects of domestic financial abuse.

Roughly one in four women will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetime. A chilling new video from Allstate Foundation Purple Purse demonstrates one way abusers control their victims: through financial abuse.

Victims of this form of domestic violence may not appear to have bruises or broken bones, but they are trapped in abusive relationships because they do not have the financial means to break free. Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation has invested more than $55 million to help women obtain their financial independence and break free from abuse.

In the experimental video, released today, ordinary people react when they come into contact with a victim of domestic financial abuse. Set in a Lyft, the film shows passengers as they come across a purple purse seemingly left behind by a previous rider. When they check the contents of the bag to identify the owner, they find a phone with abusive text messages coming in from what appears to be a domestic partner. “Lost Purse” shows what happens when the passengers return the purple bag, and the powerful connection made by reaching out to victims of financial abuse.

As part of the new campaign, The Allstate Foundation also announced today that tennis superstar and philanthropist Serena Williams is the new Purple Purse ambassador. Williams has long been a fighter for equal pay for female athletes and an advocate for women’s rights. In her new role, she will bring awareness to domestic financial abuse.

“Not a lot of people really know about financial abuse,” Williams said in an interview with Mic. “It’s an invisible but also really devastating form of domestic abuse that traps victims in these harmful relationships.”

Tennis champion Serena Williams has long been an advocate for women's issues. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for IMG

Each year, the Purple Purse Challenge supports hundreds of organizations that help victims of domestic violence. Through the Challenge, nonprofits can apply to receive part of $700,000 available in grants to continue their community work. The fundraising competition takes place in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but nonprofits should start applying today.

If your organization shares Allstate’s commitment to ending domestic violence through financial empowerment, join the annual Purple Purse Challenge. Apply here through Aug. 1.

Learn more about The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse® Challenge here.

Find a domestic violence shelter in your area at www.domesticshelters.org.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

The Renewal Project is made possible by Allstate.

The Renewal Project

The Renewal Project is an effort by Allstate to highlight, support, and celebrate ordinary people creating extraordinary community renewal.