Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, together with program ambassador and tennis champion Serena Williams, today announced a national street art campaign to educate the public about domestic violence and make the invisible weapon of financial abuse visible to all.
This summer, Purple Purse will roll out six photo-worthy and highly sharable street art murals across the country to spark important conversations on social media — and beyond — and drive much-needed awareness and education on financial abuse, which occurs in 99 percent of abusive relationships. The first mural, created by artist Isabel Castillo Guijarro, was unveiled by Williams yesterday at Tictail Market, 90 Orchard St. in New York City.
“Domestic violence will affect 1 in 4 women in her lifetime. Yet even in a time when people seem to openly discuss most aspects of their lives — especially on social media — it’s something that remains largely hidden,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate relations. “Surprisingly, our research shows the stigma around domestic violence has increased over the past few years. By tapping into the growing popularity of free street art and turning it into a vehicle for social good, we hope these murals will bring financial abuse and domestic violence out of the shadows, and inspire a new network of allies for domestic violence survivors.”
The new research, released to coincide with Financial Literacy Month in April, found that 1 in 3 Americans think domestic violence is a taboo topic, a 10-point increase since 2014. The study also revealed that nearly half of Americans are not familiar with financial abuse as a form of domestic violence, when in fact it’s one of the top reasons victims can’t “just leave.” Financial abuse tactics include preventing victims from working or keeping them from accessing bank accounts, credit cards or cash.
To advance education on this important issue and give a voice to survivors, Purple Purse is tapping into the increasingly popular art form of street murals. A hidden message about financial abuse is part of each mural and becomes fully visible when visitors use Instagram’s Moon filter. Once the message is revealed, Purple Purse encourages visitors to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #SafeWayOut sm. In doing so, they will join Purple Purse and Williams in their efforts to help put an end to the domestic violence epidemic, once and for all.
“With social media, everyone has an opportunity to tell a story and make an impact,” Williams said. “I am proud to use my voice and influence to bring more awareness to financial abuse so people can get involved and make positive change in their communities. As the public becomes more comfortable talking about domestic violence and financial abuse, it will also become easier to spot the signs, help a victim or stand up to an abuser.”
The New York mural will be available for public viewing through the week of July 16. In the weeks ahead, five additional Purple Purse street art murals will be unveiled across the country and will stay up through October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
Houston, The Heights, (week of June 25) created by Ana Marietta
New Orleans, Oak Street, (week of July 16) created by Milagros Collective
Chicago, Wicker Park, (week of July 23) created by Lauren Asta
Seattle, (week of Aug. 6) created by Ellen Picken
Los Angeles, (week of Aug. 13) created by Carolyn Suzuki
Whether you live in these cities or are visiting, be sure to add the limited-run murals to your “must-see” list. Go to PurplePurse.com to:
Find the nearest mural, so you can visit, take a photo and join Purple Purse in sharing this important message;
Explore and share the story behind the project through eye-catching photos and video content documenting how the project was born and how street artists are lending their craft to help this cause;
Learn the signs of domestic violence and financial abuse and how to start a conversation with a potential victim;
Make a donation to help give victims a #SafeWayOut sm.
Since 2005, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has empowered more than 1.3 million survivors on the road to safety and security through its educational resources, including The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Moving Ahead curriculum. The curriculum equips victims with the necessary knowledge to empower themselves financially and recover from financial abuse. To date, The Allstate Foundation has invested more than $60 million to help educate the public about financial abuse and provide critical survivor services, including financial education, asset-building, and job-training and -readiness programs.