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"Purple Purse Challenge" to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence

PHOTO: The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association is one of 140 groups taking the "Purple Purse Challenge" to help survivors of abuse regain their independence. Image courtesy of the Allstate Foundation.
PHOTO: The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association is one of 140 groups taking the "Purple Purse Challenge" to help survivors of abuse regain their independence. Image courtesy of the Allstate Foundation.
September 25, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. - High-profile cases of domestic violence have fueled the public's demand that the crime carry serious consequences. The avalanche of pressure was triggered in part by the case of suspended National Football League player Ray Rice. Michelle Fiore, AmeriCorps Program Director with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, says it shines a light on the complicated reasons so many survivors stay in violent relationships. Finances, according to Fiore, tend to be the biggest obstacle.

"They feel if they leave, they'll have nothing," Fiore says. "Economic abuse is present in 98 percent of cases of domestic violence."

The KDVA is participating in the Purple Purse Challenge which runs through Oct. 3. Organized by the Allstate Foundation, the national fund-raising campaign helps women who have left abusive relationships as they regain their independence. Fiore explains, purple is the color that represents domestic-violence awareness and the purse represents a woman's financial domain.

Fiore says the video of Rice hitting his future wife and dragging her out of a hotel elevator has been shocking to many, but it also has given the problem of domestic violence the increased attention she says it deserves.

"KDVA is one of 140 organizations in the Purple Purse Challenge," says Fiore. "That's kind of cool this has received so much national effort; people trying to raise awareness about economic abuse."

All funds raised in the Purple Purse Challenge will be used for emergency assistance to domestic violence survivors. KDVA has 15 shelters across the state.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY