During my first summer of law school, I interned at the Dallas City Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit. It was incredibly eye opening. I didn’t deal with the extremely violent attacks that involved weapons, these were “just” the misdemeanors. Reading case reports was so sad, especially because children were often in the home.
We handled victims services and were there for them and dealt with negotiations during prosecution. The frustrating part was that if the arresting officer wasn’t there, the case usually didn’t get prosecuted because the victim was usually there with the abuser–by his side. I made many a phone call to victims after the incidents and offered services to help. We had kid bags that included teddy bears and stuff for kids escaping the home environment with their parent.
I guess I never realized or thought about it until I worked there, but domestic violence is common–way too common. It happens more than 145 TIMES EACH HOUR in the U.S. THREE WOMEN DIE EVERY DAY AS A RESULT. That is heartbreaking and unacceptable.
Domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined. But it’s still hard to talk about and only about half of Americans say they would know how to help a victim of domestic violence. The victim often feels like they were at fault, which is FALSE, and the stigma of not talking about it needs to end.
Needless to say, when I heard about The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, I wanted in. The Purple Purse represents a woman’s way to escape the cycle of abuse by gaining financial independence. The Purple Purse was created because a purse represents the center of a woman’s financial domain and purple is the color utilized by domestic violence awareness campaigns.
Now in its third year, The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign has pledged to donate up to $350,000 to the YWCA for programs designed at assisting survivors of domestic violence and other women in need.
Did You Know?
- Domestic violence is an issue that impacts millions, but few talk about it. Purple Purse helps people carry on conversations and pass information about domestic violence and financial abuse by placing the power directly into people’s hands with a purple purse.
- Domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.
- A majority of Americans agree that domestic violence is tough to talk about. More than one-third of Americans have never discussed the issue with family or friends and Purple Purse provides a conversation starter.
- 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.
- For every purple purse passed through the end of October, The Allstate Foundation will donate $5 to YWCA. We’ll give up to $350,000 for programs aimed to help domestic violence survivors and stop the cycle of abuse.
- Visit Facebook or PurplePurse.com for more information.
You can help by registering the purple purse at www.PurplePurse.com and enter code 01469. Each time it’s registered with this code, $5 is donated. You can track the purse and see where it’s been. You can do it from your home computer! You don’t even need to have the purse in hand.
I passed mine on to my lovely coworker (and sisterfriend), Heather, as part of our office “Boo” festivities. I know she’ll pass it on. Not to mention that the “ghost” on her door will make people talk about the campaign.
If you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, they can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for planning and assistance in their area.
Update: Need more ways to get involved? You can donate your old phone to Verizon’s Hopeline program that helps domestic abuse survivors. For more information, you can read about it HERE.
Here’s a bit of what they do:
We’re doing our part to end this epidemic by collecting no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories and turning them into support for domestic violence organizations nationwide. Through HopeLine, we’ve donated hundreds of thousands of phones and awarded millions of dollars in cash grants to our partner agencies.