In a video released Wednesday, Serena Williams appears to be getting ready for a tennis match as she lists the signs typically associated with domestic violence, including walking with a limp, showing bruises, and speaking with a shaken voice.
Then she poses the question, “What about the abuse you can’t see?”
Williams is referring to financial abuse, an “invisible” form of domestic violence that can include restrictions on spending, limited access to bank accounts and job opportunities, and ruined credit.
The public service announcement marks Williams’ latest contribution to the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse campaign, for which she serves as an ambassador. The campaign is designed to bring awareness to the pervasiveness of financial abuse. Research suggests most victims of domestic violence have experienced such controlling behavior; it is one of the main reasons victims cannot leave their relationships.
“I’m proud to speak up for women who can’t use their voices”
“I’m proud to speak up for women who can’t use their voices, and let them know we’re working to end the cycle of abuse,” Williams said in a statement. “I hope that after viewing the video, people will be more aware of the hidden signs of financial abuse and they’ll understand the need to help those who’ve been burdened by it.”
Money raised through the sweepstakes and all fundraising efforts during the challenge will go to nonprofits that provide services like financial aid and counseling, emergency shelter, and transportation to domestic violence survivors and their families. Participating nonprofits will also receive backpacks to use for fundraising. The annual Purple Purse Challenge coincides with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.