Monday, October 10, 2011

More Than One-Third of Americans Have Never Discussed Domestic Violence

Are you surprised by the results of this new survey by The Allstate Foundation? 

Even though domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime, more than one-third of Americans have never discussed the issue with a friend or family member. Three out of five believe that it is a difficult issue to discuss.

This month, The Allstate Foundation and the YWCA are joining forces to break the silence and raise awareness about domestic violence by launching a new campaign designed to spur conversation and make it easier to talk about the issue. Based on The Allstate Foundation's long-term commitment to helping empower women economically to end domestic violence, the campaign encourages individuals to spread the story of the Purple Purse – the Foundation's new national symbol for domestic violence.  

"What many people don't realize is that abuse can be financial in nature such as withholding banking information or controlling a partner's money or misusing her financial identity and ruining a person's credit. This occurs just as frequently as physical abuse," said Michele Mayes, Allstate executive vice president & general counsel. "We are rallying people behind the Purple Purse because it stands for economic empowerment and represents the center of a woman's financial domain. It's also meant to convey the message that it's okay to talk about it – in fact please do."

To spread the message about the power of the Purple Purse, The Allstate Foundation today launched The website appears to be an online shopping magazine, but after scrolling down the page, the user will find a variety of information and resources specific to the issue of domestic violence and financial empowerment. The website serves as a tool to raise awareness and provides a safe and informative place for women to educate themselves. also provides a place for women to start a discussion about domestic violence.

"As the largest provider of domestic violence services in the nation, the YWCA has worked tirelessly to combat domestic violence," says Gloria Lau, CEO of the YWCA USA. "Our partnership with The Allstate Foundation to heighten awareness of domestic violence and launch is another meaningful step in our effort to end this horrible epidemic in our society."

To kick-off the campaign, The Allstate Foundation and YWCA, along with top bloggers, are organizing TweetUps in nine cities across the country. The events are planned in nine cities across the country, including Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, El Paso, Texas, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and Tucson, Ariz.

These events are designed to explain the story behind the Purple Purse, share information about the issue and encourage individuals to help spread the word about the campaign. TweetUp attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from a domestic violence survivor at each event. As an additional incentive to inspire more people to get involved, The Allstate Foundation will donate $100 for each TweetUp attendee, up to $10,000 at each event, totaling a $90,000 contribution to the YWCA.

Individuals across the country are encouraged to participate in the campaign and show their support by carrying a purple purse or bag throughout October, posting their favorite purple purse pics to and downloading the Purple Purse widget available on the website. This widget makes it easy to share Purple Purse content through social media and is designed to ensure that more people in need will be able to get information that can help.

Each year, The Allstate Foundation contributes more than $3 million in grants and programming to support economic empowerment for survivors and to help end domestic violence. Visit and to learn more.

About the Survey

The Allstate Foundation partnered with ORC International to conduct the research on domestic violence awareness. ORC International conducted telephone surveys among a national probability sample of 1,002 adults between September 22-25, 2011.

The sample was comprised of 501 men and 501 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. The sampling error associated with a sample size of 1,002 is plus/minus two to three percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

So -- check out ...and keep on spreading the purple!

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