Actress Kerry Washington releases new purse to raise domestic violence awareness

By Kate Hassett

Actress Kerry Washington releases new purse to raise domestic violence awareness
Financial abuse occurs in 98% of domestic violence cases, yet it is rarely spoken of. Can this purse change that conversation?

Activist and Scandal actress, Kerry Washington has now added ‘designer’ to her extensive repertoire.

The design in question is a limited edition handbag, created for the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign, which aims to create long-term safety for domestic violence survivors through financial support.

The bag, which costs $350 and is sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, donates 25 per cent of the proceeds to the foundation which assists victims of family violence.

Domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime, according to the All State Foundation website that’s more than Ovarian, Breast and Lung cancer combined. While most people think of physical and mental abuse being the main symptoms of domestic violence, financial abuse occurs in 98% of all domestic violence cases.

“The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free. Physical abuse leaves bruises and scars.

“Financial abuse is an Invisible Weapon that traps victims in abusive relationships,” says a statement on the website.

This type of abuse is so often what holds women and families back and prevents them from seeking separation or assistance elsewhere.

This is what Washington and the foundation are hoping to change.

“It’s just really special for me to be able to use fashion to talk about something that’s so worthwhile. Domestic violence is not a topic that’s easy to discuss, and when we can enter into this conversation by talking about something that everybody loves, like fashion, it just makes the healing easier. It makes the healing more attainable. And the conversation is around your purse because this is where your financial well-being lives. So to be able to use this metaphor to change lives is such an extraordinary opportunity.”

“We hope it will inspire survivors to reclaim their financial independence,” Washington says.



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