Allstate releases thought-provoking domestic violence PSA for its Purple Purse foundation

Allstate has released a harrowing film that aims to shine a light on the often unseen aspects of financial abuse that can end up leaving women trapped in abusive relationships.

The PSA is for Allstate’s Purple Purse foundation, which for the past 12 years has been been working to help domestic violence survivors regain their financial footing. According to a study of 103 domestic violence survivors, all but one reported experiencing economic abuse. Even so, nearly eight in 10 Americans are unaware the financial abuse is a form of domestic violence, according to Allstate.

The insurance company’s latest campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue via a “social experiment-based short film” called Lost Purse. In the ad, which was created by Leo Burnett and MSL Group, a hidden camera captures the reactions of Lyft passengers who’ve found a purse in the backseat of the car. When each of them opens the purse to try and find out whose it might be, they find a cell phone that’s filled with text messages that say things like “you’re too stupid to manage money” and “I canceled your card, good luck paying for a lawyer when you have no money.”

When they are finally able to get a hold of the woman whose purse it is, they agree to meet her at a coffee shop to return it. Upon greeting her, many of them ask her if she’s okay before saying goodbye.

The spot ends with the message, “If you knew someone needed help, what would you do? Get involved” before directing viewers to Purple Purse’s site.

Last year, Allstate rolled out a spot for Purple Purse called ‘America’s Largest Prison Break’ that told the story of a woman who secretly hid small amounts of money in tampon applicators before saving up enough to leave her abusive husband.

Aside from the new PSA, Allstate has also announced that tennis champion Serena Williams will serve as Purple Purse’s new ambassador.

"Standing up for women's rights has long been a passion of mine," said Williams in a statement. "I am honored to join Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to bring financial abuse and domestic violence out of the shadows and into the public conversation. I hope people will join the Purple Purse movement and work with us to end abuse against women.”

Actress Kerry Washington has also served as a Purple Purse ambassador.

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