Earlier last month the Allstate Foundation debuted a new video entitled “Invisible Weapon” to kick off the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, an annual fundraiser, running from October 2nd to October 31st, that provides financial empowerment services to 300 U.S. nonprofit organizations serving domestic violence survivors. The video, featuring tennis champion and the program’s ambassador Serena Williams, called for urgent support for domestic violence survivors. Williams’ powerful narrative exposed the hidden challenges that domestic violence victims face by explaining how abusive relationships are not always physical. She speaks about “abuse you can’t see,” referring to financial abuse as an invisible weapon.
Financial abuse, which involves controlling the victim’s access and use of financial resources, happens in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. However, a 2018 national survey conducted by the Allstate Foundation found that about 50 percent of respondents are unaware that financial abuse is a form of domestic violence. The invisible weapon of financial abuse is the reason why many victims are unable to leave their toxic relationships.
Williams, who also designed a purple handbag for the Purple Purse Challenge, has helped raise millions of dollars for local domestic nonprofits. Though she has always cared for women’s issues like equality and domestic violence, her drive behind the cause has amplified over the past year because of her one-year-old daughter Olympia. Williams said that, as she works with Purple Purse and watched Dr. Christine Ford’s televised testimony against Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh in early October, she could not help but think of her daughter and the injustices she could face as a woman later in life.
Williams’s efforts in the fight for every woman through her broad platform inspires others to shine light on taboo and uncomfortable topics. Her love for her daughter has only made her a more ardent advocate for those who need it.
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