Michigan wife and mom Lori has been stashing away money in a tampon box for the past two years. Her goal is to save enough money in order to escape her abusive partner. For many women, this tale is all too familiar. The story of Lori is the premise of a new campaign from the Allstate Foundation and ad agency Leo Burnett known as #FreeToWalk. The PSA features a short film, called America’s Largest Prison Break, that depicts the life of a victim of domestic violence.
In the film, the victim is trapped in a suburban home depicted as an inescapable jail that she cannot “just leave” because the abuser is control of all the finances. As she paces around her cell, the abusers voice can be heard as he taunts her with threats and insults. Unlike other campaigns, #FreeToWalk focuses on the monetary aspects of domestic abuse. The nonprofit states says that victims experience financial abuse, including ruined credit and loss of employment, in 99% of domestic abuse cases.
The foundation’s Purple Purse initiative found that financial abuse is the number one reason why victims return to or stay in abusive relationships. “Financial abuse is an invisible weapon that’s just as effective as a lock and key in controlling victims,” SVP of corporate responsibility at Allstate Insurance Vicky Dinges said in a statement. This shocking statistic has caused the foundation to work tirelessly to help survivors out of seemingly hopeless situations. Since it’s inception around 12 years ago, the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has helped over 800,000 domestic violence survivors by providing them with tools such as financial education and job training.