Thursday, October 3, 2013

Taking Action Against Domestic Violence is Simple - Purple Purse: Pass It On #Sponsored

Disclosure:  This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


   Taking Action Against Domestic Violence is Simple - Purple Purse: Pass It On.

Have you ever been the victim of, or know someone close to you, of domestic violence?  Did you know that domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime? That's more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.  The statistics are staggering, only about half of Americans say they would know how to help a victim of domestic violence."

Want to hear some more startling statistics about domestic violence?

•    Domestic violence happens more than 145 times each hour in the U.S. On average, three women die every day as a result.
•    Lacking financial knowledge and resources is the number one indicator of whether a domestic violence victim will stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship.

I have not personally experienced domestic violence, but know a few people who have, including a good from college.  It is true what they say about domestic violence, in that the victims don't like to talk about it, or reach out for help.  I wanted to share my college friend's story, as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this month, in hopes that readers who are victims of domestic violence, or know someone who is, can seek out the help they need.   Domestic violence is not right and should not be tolerated -- so, please speak up today!


During my third year in college, we moved from the dorms into apartment style living.  I went from having my own dorm room, to sharing an apartment with 6 other girls.  If you have never roomed with that many girls, then you are missing out! :-)  One of my roommates, we'll call her Susan, started dating a 4th year commuting student.  In the beginning, she would bring her boyfriend around to the apartment, and they would hang out with the other roommates watching television, having group dinners and playing card games.  But, when things started getting serious between them, he stopped coming around, and we saw less and less of her.  Six months into their relationship, she had moved out of our apartment and was living with him off-campus.  The few times we did she her, she was reserved and wouldn't say too much.  We could tell something was not right, as her personality was not of this nature.  She used to be full of life, bubbly and very talkative.  Now, when we saw her, we were lucky to pull a few sentences out of her.  And, questions about her relationship or boyfriend were off limits.

Again, domestic violence is not something we like to talk about, or hope to have to deal with personally or with someone close to us.  So, we continued to go to classes, live in the apartment, and continued to let Susan know, when we were saw her, that we were there for her.  Then, one night during mid-terms, I ran into Susan at the on-campus library.  She was dressed in a grey sweatshirt, baggy sweatpants and had on big sunglasses.  She couldn't stop shaking, and kept looking around, as if to see if someone was watching her.  I went over to talk to her, and ended up startling her.  After her heavy breathing subsided, I asked what was wrong.  Not expecting to get a response, I sat there, in hopes to provide comfort to her.  It took a while, but she finally opened up about what was going on.  She said that her boyfriend was physically and emotionally abusing her, and had been since the start of their relationship.  In the beginning, she thought that she had done something wrong during the times he would hit her.  But, not wanting to lose him, as she thought she was in love, she stayed.  Then, as the abuse got worse, she started to feel ashamed, embarrassed, and didn't know how to get out of the relationship.  He kept telling her that if she told anyone that he would kill her, and that if she left, he would come after her, and that she would be sorry.  So, all she could do was stay.

The night I ran into her at the library, he was out with friends, and gave her permission to go to the library.  He told her that he would be having friends watch her, and that he would be by to pick her up.  So, this is why she kept looking over her shoulder. 

I felt so bad for my friend, and wanted to help her get out of this abusive relationship.  But, like I said domestic violence, especially on college campuses, was not talked about.  And, I didn't want to offer up any advice that may harm my friend.  One of the hardest days of my life, was seeing my friend walk away that night, knowing what she would be returning to when she got home to her boyfriend's apartment. 

As the days went on, I would wait outside Susan's classes, in hopes to see her, but she didn't show up.  Fearing the worst, I confided in a few friends, as well as sought advice from a domestic violence counselor at the local YWCA.  It was like a waiting game, as we waited to see where Susan would turn up, and when.  Fearing the worst, but hoping for the best, I was so relived one rainy night when I heard a knock at my apartment door.  When I opened the door, Susan was standing there with a small bag, covered in bruises and blood.  A friend and I rushed her to the local hospital, where she received stitches and was treated for a cracked cheek bone and broken ribs.  Police came into the exam room after the doctor's were done to take her story and see if she would be pressing charges.  I was not sure if Susan would speak up and finally break her silence.  Thankfully, she did.  And, in addition to pressing charges, she took out a restraining against her now ex-boyfriend. 

Susan's parents met us at the hospital and ended up taking her home to recover and heal.  She ended up dropping out of school, later to return to another university years later to complete her degree in psychology.  Now, today, she is a domestic violence counselor, and hopes that by sharing her story to girls (and guys) that they will find the strength to speak out and leave the abusive relationships they find themselves in. 

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


Join The Allstate Foundation this month to spread the word about domestic violence awareness through their Purple Purse campaign.  

"As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Purple Purse, The Allstate Foundation’s symbol for domestic violence, proudly represents a woman’s way to escape the cycle of abuse by gaining financial independence.  Now in its third year, The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign has pledged to donate up to $350,000 to the YWCA for programs designed at assisting survivors of domestic violence and other women in need.

In 2011, The Allstate Foundation launched to provide resources to get people talking about domestic violence, as well as help those in abusive relationships get out, stay safe and thrive.  The Purple Purse was created because a purse represents the center of a woman’s financial domain and purple is the color utilized by domestic violence awareness campaigns.  Rosario Dawson joined The Purple Purse as a spokesperson in 2012 and continues to be a champion of the campaign in 2013.

Domestic violence is an issue that impacts millions, but few talk about it. Purple Purse helps people carry on conversations and pass information about domestic violence and financial abuse by placing the power directly into people’s hands with a purple purse.  A majority of Americans agree that domestic violence is tough to talk about. More than one-third of Americans have never discussed the issue with family or friends and Purple Purse provides a conversation starter.  Lacking financial knowledge and resources is the number one indicator of whether a domestic violence victim will stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship.

Taking action against domestic violence is simple - Purple Purse: Pass It On.

1,300 purple purses filled with domestic violence information and facts will be distributed throughout the U.S. Each purse has a goal of being passed between family, friends, community leaders, celebrities, media, and Allstate employees and agents sparking important conversations and raising awareness. The Allstate Foundation will donate $5 each time a purse is passed and checked-in at

Visit to follow the purple purses on their journey around the country, track the YWCA’s progress toward their goal to earn $350,000 from The Allstate Foundation and get tips to help you start talking about domestic violence."

If you don’t get your hands on one of the purple purses that are being passed around the country, you can still help by logging onto and sharing a virtual purple purse.  A Spanish-language site is available at Use my special virtual code: 0030, to pass the purse along.  

Each virtual purse pass will result in a $5.00 donation made by The Allstate Foundation to YWCA for programs aimed to help domestic violence survivors, up to $350.000.  So, what are you waiting for?    Visit and enter code "0030" and start passing the purse.  Please share this virtual code with family and friends, so that together we can help raise the necessary funds to help domestic violence survivors everyone.  And, thank you!

Disclosure:  This post is part of a sponsored campaign with The Allstate Foundation and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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