By | September 16, 2014 6 Comments

Actress Kerry Washington raises awareness of financial abuse

Actress Kerry Washington, who stars in the TV show Scandal, is appearing in a public service announcement to draw attention to the issue of financial abuse in domestic violence situations.

“It’s the reason so many people stay,” Washington says in an interview with Huffington Post.

Read: Kerry Washington sheds light on an invisible kind of domestic abuse, on

Washington’s TV commercial is for the “Purple Purse” fundraising effort, an initiative of the Allstate Foundation.

“In 98% of all domestic violence cases, financial abuse helps keep victims trapped in the abusive relationships,” according to

Purple Purse is now raising funds to support domestic violence organizations.


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I was finacially abused by my ex husband. I didn’t know it was called that until last year. Most people don’t know such a thing exists. Everytone just said my ex was cheap. It’s far more than that!


Exactly same for me Infinity. I hope they promote awareness of this problem in England too. I’m scare of the divorce because I have a slightly higher income than him, he’s had my life savings and I’m too soft to fight anymore. It would be the final straw re. playing with my mind. On top of all that people I know, friends and family don’t believe I have been and am still being abused by him. I can’t wait to be free of him financially at least. It was a romance fraud. I wish I were brave enough to stand up for myself. This evil monster should be deported back to West Africa. He never paid a penny for anything. Greedy. Evil. Parasite. Internet predator – preferably of older, lonely, vulnerable women – with MONEY PLEASE!


As an only child and loving mother of 5 in the 1970-1980’s, I can well relate to staying with an abusive man for financial reasons. This was long before Day Care Centers and the “pill and women had nowhere to turn.


I stayed at first because I wasn’t going to leave my child to his unfettered access. I didn’t know he was a sociopath but I knew he had no heart, no conscience. He had convinced my child that he was Santa Claus and I was the mean mommy. She was of age to chose him and for her own protection, I couldn’t risk letting her make that choice. His abuse was rampant after that. I stayed longer, after she was old enough to not be raped by him, because by then, I wasn’t ready to live as a homeless person. I knew I was destroyed, my health was shot, my nerves were shot, I could not hold a job. But I knew that I was vulnerable to every criminal if I lived on the street. It was only when I’d rather BE that bizarre homeless woman and suffer street violence that I finally left.

There’s no real help for emotionally abused women. That’s only for physically beaten women. I was blamed. His abuse was my fault, my fault for staying. No one thinks there is any reason to stay except that I “must like it” or “must get something out of it”. No one thinks how staying is chosing to survive.


One of the worst parts of the narcissistic abuse I was subjected to in my long marriage was financial abuse, but of a type not usually defined. As I understand it, financial abuse, as usually defined, is some type of restriction on money such that the victim has little and is often monitored, so she can not get away, or do anything outside the abuser’s control.

The type of abuse that I was subjected to, and the type that con men cause, is compelling us to finance them — with our money, our efforts, our work. For narcissists, nothing is ever enough. He not only spent all I earned, without working himself, but he ran up huge credit card debts without my knowledge. Ultimately, this led to the looting of my IRA account and the loss of all our house equity. I used the last separate investment account to divorce him. And he was subject to a huge lawsuit that became my problem.

I did not feel I could say no when we were married and had children together. Initially there were reasonable reasons why he did not yet make money. Later, it became obvious he was dysfunctional in some way and could not work without getting fired. So, while we tried everything, I worked hard while he spent hard.

When I did say no, he just found another way and because we were married, I was liable. Any time he wanted more, he just took it and put us secretly into more debt. It really is a form of theft, just not one legally recognized.

I worked very hard to try to make enough to overcome this, all the while feeling great financial stress. It felt like slavery, like being caught in a prison that nobody else could see. Life became bleak. Eventually, I became unable to function any more and could no longer earn. That was when I finally divorced him, out of other options and drained in every way.

Financial abuse is an unsung cousin of emotional and other types of abuse. It is about time it gets noticed. Thanks.


I’d like to say thanks to Allstate. I am an Allstate customer. After divorce and financial recovery, I insure my home and cars with you. The caring hands seem a bit more caring with this sponsorship. Thanks!

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