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Domestic violence affects one in four women. It strikes more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined. Yet more than one-third of Americans have never discussed it.

Phyllis Higgins, who works at Allstate, knows about domestic violence. Her grandmother had been a victim of abuse in a time when there were few domestic violence programs. “If it wasn’t for family, she would have had no place to go,” says Phyllis.

Did You Know?

145 women face domestic violence each hour in the U.S.

Domestic violence harms women in more ways than one. Financial abuse—the use of finances as a tool of power or control—can make physical and emotional abuse all the more destructive. Years of having no access to finances can erode a domestic violence victim’s confidence around money. Financial dependence is a major reason victims feel trapped with their abusers.

That’s where The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse comes in. As the corporate foundation of a financial services company, The Allstate Foundation puts the company’s financial expertise to work helping domestic violence survivors get safe, stay safe and thrive.

Purple Purse is designed to make it easier to talk about this difficult subject. In October 2012, The Allstate Foundation partnered with the YWCA, the nation’s largest provider of domestic violence services, to send more than a thousand purple purses across the country. The purses are being passed online and in person between friends, neighbors and coworkers in communities all over the U.S., sparking life-changing conversations along the way. Inside the stylish purse, there’s information on domestic violence and simple ways to talk more openly about the issue.

You won’t be able to spot or prevent domestic violence everywhere it occurs. But you can help just by starting a conversation and being there for a friend in need. Make sure she knows you’re concerned for her safety and that you’ll support her without judgment or criticism.

Visit PurplePurse.com for tips on how to identify domestic violence and what to do to help.

 
Want To Do More?

Follow these three steps:

  • 1
    Recognize it

    Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that one partner uses against the other. It can even happen after the relationship is over. The behaviors are directed at gaining and maintaining control over the victim.
  • 2
    Get help

    If you think you or your friend might be in danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to find resources to help.
  • 3
    Speak up

    If you suspect a friend is in an abusive relationship, let her know that she has support and options. You can say something like, “I know this is hard to discuss, but please know you can talk to me about anything.” Find more conversation starters at PurplePurse.com.