Actress Kerry Washington plays a fixer on TV and is trying to be one in real life. The Scandal star has joined the fight against domestic abuse with public service spots and some purple panache to raise money to support those affected by abuse.
The famously private actress barely let the news out that she married former NFL cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha or information about the birth of their daughter Isabelle Amarachi. But Washington is using her celebrity to is take an active role in a campaign against domestic violence.
She films a public service announcement (PSA) that talks about how many women stay in an abusive situation because they feel trapped financially and unable to support themselves. In the spot, Washington noted that “one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence.” She commented that finances are almost always one weapon of choice used.
Washington did the PSA and designed a symbolic purple colored purse in support of The Allstate Foundation effort to raise awareness of how financial abuse plays into the domestic violence issue. Kerry Washington revealed that she joined the fight when she learned facts and details about the pervasiveness of the problem, particularly in some cultures here in the U.S., were eye openers.
The Foundation had already started a “Purple Purse” initiative to raise awareness of domestic abuse involving money, but Washington’s design will be used as a fundraiser. A purse, for many women, represents their financial domain, which is limited to the money they carry and any credit cards. Women in financially abusive situations do not have access to any other assets, besides maybe their vehicle.
Only 500 of Washington’s purses are being produced to ensure they are unique collectors’ items. The campaign expects celebrities and others to carry and use to draw attention to the issue, while other purses will be given to domestic abuse charities for fundraising efforts.
The purse design is very Olivia Pope/Kerry Washington with classic lines and conservative styling. However, the purple shade adds fun and makes them a fashion statement. Purple is also becoming recognized as the color of domestic violence awareness efforts, much like pink has become a breast cancer awareness symbol.
Washington also filmed a PSA featuring the purse. That spot is reportedly a call to action for men and women to become more informed and involved in fighting domestic abuse.
Allstate CEO Tom Wilson explained that the Foundation’s “Purple Purse” effort is striving to make it acceptable — even fashionable — to discuss domestic abuse. “Only by pulling back the curtain and getting involved,” Wilson said, “can we ensure that victims can escape to a safer and brighter future.” The Allstate Foundation is a charity established in 1952 by the insurance company.
Kerry Washington also indicated that she joined the fight against domestic abuse because she wanted to be more involved in educating women about domestic violence and financial abuse. “I just felt like it was such a great opportunity,” she explained, adding that she wanted to be a part of the solution. Washington pointed out that the purple purse she designed “is a way to address helping women in a very tangible, specific way.”
By Dyanne Weiss
Chicago Business Journal