Kerry Washington Speaks Out About Domestic Violence


Kerry Washington is working with Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Program. She has designed a limited edition handbag to raise awareness about domestic violence and financial abuse.

The handbag is available on the Purple Purse website. For a $10 donation, you can be entered into a contest to win the handbag.

“Purple is the color for domestic violence awareness,” Washington said. “It’s the signature color and a purse is the symbol of where a woman’s economic power lives. It’s where we keep our keys and our phone and wallet, all of that, our economic well-being, lives in our purse. So the bag is really a symbol of taking your purse strings back, taking your strength back in the face of abuse.”

Ninety-eight percent of domestic violence victims also suffer financial abuse, making if difficult to escape a difficult situation.

“I don’t want to make it sound like this is a quick fix, but 98 percent of domestic violence cases involve financial abuse,” Washington continued. “When we say financial abuse it means controlling finances, destroying someone’s credit, jeopardizing their employment, these are all ways money is used to control in an abusive situation and make someone feel like they can’t leave or making it almost impossible for someone to leave.”

In addition to bringing attention to domestic abuse with Purple Purse, Washington has also done work with VDay, another organization that works to bring attention to violence against women.

“For many years I’ve worked with VDay, which works to end violence against women and girls,” Washington said. “We’ve always said we wanted to put ourselves out of business at VDay by ending violence against women. So when this opportunity came along, it just felt like a way for me to be a part of a very tangible, concrete solution, giving women the tools they need to be more economically self-sufficient and more empowered to take care of themselves and to walk away.”

Washington was appointed to the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities in 2009 by President Barack Obama. She is also a member of the V-Counsel, a group of advisors to V-Day.

Kerry Washington in a PSA for Purple Purse.

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