A lack of adequate financial resources can make it difficult for survivors of domestic violence to leave an abusive situation.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Kentuckians are being asked to do what they can to help these survivors. The Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, along with Governor Matt Bevin, launched The Purple Purse Challenge on Monday.
Marjorie Amon, AmeriCorps Vista Economic Empowerment Resource Specialist for the campaign says the money raised helps survivors with financial emergencies. "That's usually an outstanding utility bill, a car repair, a child's medical expense," she says. "When a survivor is trying to get on their feet, be independent and start saving money, these things can really set somebody back a lot."
More than $31,000 in emergency assistance was provided by the fund in 2016 to more than 90 survivors. It's estimated that one out of four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence also runs an Economic Empowerment Project that helps survivors become self-sufficient. Amon says for the sake of survivors and their families, it is important to not only address crisis needs in the moment but look to the future and build sustainable independence. "We do credit counseling," she adds. "We have micro-loans so that survivors can build their credit back up. We have an IDA program, which is a matched savings program so they can start saving to buy a car or a house or start a business."
The project serves an estimated two thousand survivors of domestic violence each year. During October, folks are encouraged to support victims of domestic violence by wearing purple or donating to the Purple Purse Campaign.