Getty / Cindy Ord
Rosemary Donahue
June 14, 2016 11:37 am

Kerry Washington is kind of like a real-life Olivia Pope — minus the scandalous parts. She’s an actual gladiator in so many ways, and she is not one to shy away from speaking out about issues related to women’s rights. Recently, she’s gained a new platform to do so, as she’s been official ambassador for the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse campaign for the last two years. This campaign aims to spread awareness about how financial abuse is an invisible weapon used in many relationships in which domestic violence also occurs.

Washington told People, “To be an ambassador for the Allstate Foundation and for Purple Purse is an honor for me, because I love being able to be a part of real, long-term solutions for giving security, and wisdom, and knowledge and empowerment for domestic violence victims and survivors.”

According to the Purple Purse campaign, financial abuse happens in 99% of domestic violence cases. When women are financially dependent on partners, it makes it incredibly hard to leave. The Purple Purse campaign says:

This is Washington’s third year working with Purple Purse, and it likely won’t be the last. She’s working to design a new signature purple handbag and will also help head up a social media campaign with the hashtag #freetowalk. The social media campaign, as well as the bag, both aim to help raise awareness about the tie between financial abuse and domestic violence so that support can be garnered for victims. It seems to be something she’s incredibly passionate about, and we can see why.

“Financial abuse is such an invisible weapon,” she told People. “It’s not something we think of. We can see black eyes and we can see bruising and I think, we think a lot about the emotional abuse, and all of those things are valid, but to know that financial abuse is the number one reason why women stay and why they can’t walk away – it matters so much to be able to do something about that because it unlocks the solutions in the other areas as well.”

Watch Kerry talk about the Purple Purse campaign here, and then visit the site to learn what you can do:

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