‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington has been an advocate for domestic violence survivors for a while, yet even she had more to learn about the dynamics of domestic violence. One aspect that she recently learned about: the financial abuse that can help keep people trapped in domestic violence situations.
It turns out that 98 percent of all domestic violence cases involve financial abuse, so it’s a huge reason for why women stay in abusive relationships and why they go back after they leave. They feel they don’t have the tools to take care of themselves and their families.”
Not realizing that, Kerry didn’t quite understand why the Allstate Foundation approached her about designing a purse to raise funds for domestic violence causes. After learning about financial abuse, it seems to have “clicked” for the actress.
Abuse is hard to talk about, so we thought a purse is a beautiful object that can get the conversation started. It is a symbol of a woman’s financial domain.”
This is Kerry’s second year designing a purse for the campaign. This year she worked with designer Dee Ocleppo. They designed a clutch that also has a chain, so it can be worn as a shoulder bag. The exterior is faux croc while the inside is a peacock color. It will be a limited edition. Kerry said:
It’s such a daunting vision to end all violence against women and girls, but this was so exciting to me because it’s such a concrete way to tackle this problem. It’s fun to work on women’s empowerment and be girly about it. It incorporates all of who I am – my love of fashion, art, design and human rights.
“For me, it’s a way of saying I believe in the end of domestic violence, and I believe in the end of financial abuse, and I believe in the ability of a woman to support herself financially.”
The purse goes on sale today at select Saks Fifth Avenue locations and online at Saks.com for $350. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go to more than 160 domestic violence programs around the country. These pictures were taken last night at the launch event.
Photos by FAMEFLYNET