Serena Williams Raises Awareness About Financial Abuse - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Serena Williams is always taking a positive stance when she is not playing tennis. According to CBS News, Williams is now the national ambassador for the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse program.

“A really close friend of mine was going through a situation that wasn’t really healthy for her, wasn’t healthy for her friends, or her family — and it was difficult to tell her,” she said. “And then I realized, look, oh my goodness, she’s — all the signs that I was learning about with financial abuse, she was involved in.”

“I had no idea what financial abuse was. When I read that 99% of domestic violence cases do involve financial abuse, I feel like that was a really, really high number, and it’s shocking,” Williams told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.

“I feel like a responsibility to make people know more about things like financial abuse. And how to avoid it like I want to teach my daughter everything about it,” Williams said. “And if I have more kids and I have a boy, I want to teach him about it so he is not a part of the problem and only adds to the solutions.”

“To end the cycle of abuse, we must have meaningful conversations to shine a light on how financial abuse traps victims,” said Ellen Lisak, Allstate Foundation senior program officer. Williams, who has been involved with the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse initiative for three years, knows that knowledge is key when it comes to recognizing the signs of financial abuse.

As stated on their website, “Since 2005, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has been committed to raising awareness for domestic violence and financial abuse as a prevalent — and often misunderstood — issue in our society today. Only once we recognize and understand the problem can survivors receive the help and healing they need. So Purple Purse began gathering support for hundreds of national, state and local domestic violence organizations.”

The purpose of Allstate’s Purple Purse initiative is to provide domestic abuse survivors with an intensive step-by-step financial empowerment curriculum. If you or someone you know is suffering from any form of domestic and/or financial abuse, you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.