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Actress Rosario Dawson goes Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Rosario Dawson with the Purple Purse campaign
Rosario Dawson with the Purple Purse campaign
AP

One in four women experience domestic violence during their lifetime. Domestic violence happens 145 times every hour in the U.S. It affects more women than breast cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer combined. Abuse is not only physical and verbal – it can also be financial, with survivors severely impacted by the control abusers have over their money, according to the Purple Purse campaign.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Allstate Foundation partnered with actress Rosario Dawson for the Purple Purse campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the role finances play in helping survivors break free from violence. As of October 15, the campaign has already reached its goal of donating $350,000 to the YWCA for programs that help domestic violence survivors gain the financial knowledge and resources needed to live independently.

Rosario Dawson has a personal commitment to ending domestic violence. “As an advocate to end violence against women, I have come to learn that the shame surrounding domestic violence is a barrier to talking about the issue,” said Dawson. “Purple Purse provides victims and those who support the cause with information and resources they need to take the necessary actions to break the vicious cycle with confidence."

This year, more than a thousand purple purses filled with domestic violence information will be distributed throughout the U.S. The goal is that each purse gets passed between family, friends, community leaders, celebrities, media and Allstate volunteers sparking important conversations and educating the public about the issue. The Allstate Foundation will donate $5 each time a purse is checked-in at PurplePurse.com. In addition, every time a virtual purple purse is shared at Facebook.com/PurplePurse, The Allstate Foundation will donate $5 to the YWCA.

“One of every four women will live in fear of their spouse or intimate partner. We all know them. They are our family members, colleagues, friends and neighbors,” said Vicky Dinges, vice president of corporate responsibility at Allstate. “Purple Purse, an Allstate Foundation program, provides a less threatening way to get people talking about the issue and have those important conversations.”

The purple purse is a symbol for the financial empowerment of domestic violence survivors. PurplePurse.com helps provide a safe place to learn about domestic violence. It includes conversation starters, ways to spot signs of abuse and steps to gain financial independence.

“The YWCA is the nation’s largest provider of resources to empower women from all walks of life who face dangerous and even life-threatening situations at home,” said Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., CEO of the YWCA USA. “We are so thankful to Allstate for providing us with generous funding through Purple Purse to help our local associations continue providing safety, support and education to the many women and children affected by domestic violence.”

If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.