Serena Williams, world renowned tennis champion, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, has joined forces with the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, as the newest program ambassador. Together, they are committed to helping survivors and shedding light on domestic violence, and the connection with how financial abuse plays a major role in why women are unable to leave abusive relationships. According to the Allstate Foundation and FTI Consulting: Silent Weapon: Domestic Violence and Financial Abuse; 2014, it is unbeknownst to nearly 78 percent of Americans, that financial abuse is a type of domestic abuse. The general population is unaware that the two are even linked together.
In 2005, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse took a stand, to help with the fight against this abuse. Since the start, they have assisted more than 1 million survivors through their educational resources, such as the Purple Purse Moving Ahead curriculum. Through this, survivors are equipped with tools and the knowledge that they need to recover and overcome financial abuse.
Vicky Dinges, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility is fully committed to the fight against domestic and financial abuse. “We believe that corporations should do more in society to tackle some of the most pressing problems. About 10 years ago, we noticed that 1 in 4 women, experiences domestic violence in her lifetime, and 99 percent of all domestic violence cases – financial abuse is what keeps a woman trapped in that relationship. So, because we are a financial services company, we thought you know what? We can do something about this.”
We had an exclusive opportunity to catch up with Williams to discuss domestic and financial abuse:
Tartt: What inspired you to serve as the program’s new ambassador?
Williams: While I was familiar with financial abuse, I had no idea that it happens in 99 percent of domestic violence cases, and that financial abuse is the number one reason victims stay in or return to abusive relationships. I was shocked at how prevalent yet, underexposed this issue is. Because of that, I want to encourage others to stand up and speak out about financial abuse.
Tartt: How has partnering with the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse helped with your personal mission of standing up for women’s rights?
Williams: Standing up for women’s rights has been a passion of mine for a long time. Just last year, my sister Venus and I launched the Yetunde Price Resource Center, which assists those affected by violence, including domestic violence. I’m very excited to be working in partnership with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, to implement the Purple Purse Moving Ahead financial curriculum there, which equips survivors with the knowledge and tools to recover from financial abuse.
Tartt: Now that you have joined forces with Purple Purse, what impact do you wish to make for helping them with their mission?
Williams: It’s an honor to join Allstate Foundation Purple Purse as program ambassador, and I’m looking forward to working with Purple Purse to help raise awareness of financial abuse, and bring this underexposed issue out of the shadows. I want to inspire and motivate others to educate themselves about domestic violence, and financial abuse, and to take action to end the cycle of violence.
Tartt: I wear my Purple Purse charm proudly, everyday, which represents Purple Purse’s fight in helping women against domestic violence. How can we support you all, in your efforts, to save the lives of women who are victims to this type of violence every day?
Williams: You can join the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse movement by going to . There you can find resources to educate yourself on financial abuse and domestic violence, conversations starters, and ways to donate – like purchasing your own Purple Purse charm! It’s also crucial that we speak out when we see warning signs of abuse. Domestic violence won’t end unless we stop ignoring it.
Together we can do our part, to help stop domestic and financial abuse across the world, through educating and equipping women with the resources and tools that they need to leave safely.