Why ending domestic violence is our business

Although The Allstate Foundation has been working to end domestic violence since 2005, people still ask us, “What does an insurance company have to do with domestic violence?”

We think the connection is obvious. Leaning on the same skills our agency owners and personal financial representatives use with customers, we put our corporate expertise in financial services to work to stop the cycle of violence. Research tells us that financial empowerment is critical to overcoming abuse. Lack of financial knowledge and resources are the main factors that keep victims in relationships with their abusers.

We know that we can’t stop something as widespread – one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime – and complicated as domestic violence on our own. So, we work with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to bring financial education, matched savings programs, job readiness, job training and microenterprises to domestic violence survivors. We also partner with other national and local organizations like the YWCA to raise awareness about domestic violence through innovative social media campaigns and in-person events across the country.

Together, we have reached more than 63,000 survivors with financial education through our Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum and helped nearly 15,000 women create a financial plan, open a bank account, work on their credit or meet a personal financial goal. Rutgers University researchers are in the midst of a national longitudinal study of the Moving Ahead curriculum. Initial research found that survivors who took the curriculum increased their financial knowledge and also reported a decrease of abuse in their lives.

Allstate agency owners are also involved by volunteering to teach the Moving Ahead curriculum. Allstate has more than 200 agents who have joined the Allstate Against Abuse Team. Listen to Allstate Financial Specialist Giselle Paquet tell the inspiring story of how she turned her past as a domestic violence victim into a passion for empowering other survivors.

The Foundation is committed to helping individuals and families overcome personal challenges  and pursue their hopes and dreams – in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and every month. This October, when it seems the whole world is painted pink, let’s also be sure to recognize that 154 women every hour experience domestic violence and help put an end to it. Wear purple for domestic violence awareness month, learn more about the issue and help us spread the word at PurplePurse.com. Talk about it!