Saturday, October 18, 2008

‘Tell a Gal P.A.L.’ to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

(ARA) - Three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence according to the Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence. While it impacts many, few discuss the issue.

With October designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Allstate Foundation and television star Ana Ortiz encourage Americans to “Tell a Gal P.A.L.” and start a dialogue with friends and family about domestic violence.

“Knowing first-hand the devastating impact domestic violence has on families has motivated me to help others in abusive situations,” Ortiz says. “We need to remove the stigma associated with this highly sensitive subject by encouraging people to talk openly about domestic violence and economic empowerment.”

As part of the campaign, Ortiz will open up her heart and her closet by giving one lucky winner a designer purse from her personal collection. Throughout October, those who visit ClickToEmpower.org can enter to win an Onna Ehrlich purse. Additional entries will be awarded to those who “Tell a Gal P.A.L.” about domestic violence through an online message to friends and family.

Through “Pass It On, Act and Learn,” the “Tell a Gal P.A.L.” campaign creates awareness and starts an open dialogue about domestic violence and how economic empowerment can provide a path to a safe future.

* Pass It On -- Spread the word to your gal pals that domestic violence touches all of us and it can happen to anyone. Let your gal pals know that financial abuse is part of domestic violence. Talk freely about domestic violence to break down the taboo.

* Act -- Small acts make a big difference. Encourage your gal pals to actively plan for a secure financial future. Start a savings plan for emergencies or get a copy of your credit report.

* Learn -- Learn about the resources available to help yourself, or someone you know, out of an abusive situation. Take steps to protect your personal and financial safety whether you’re in an abusive relationship or not, and empower yourself.

Research from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows that women with financial skills are more likely to leave abusive situations and sustain themselves and their families on a long-term basis. “Tell a Gal P.A.L.” aims to communicate that economic empowerment is critical to both personal and financial safety.

“Economic empowerment is vital to ending the cycle of abuse,” says Jennifer Kuhn, program manager for The Allstate Foundation. “Financial control is one of the most common ways an abuser keeps a victim from leaving a dangerous relationship, often by limiting access to money and other economic resources."

The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program focuses on providing knowledge, skills and support to women and survivors of domestic violence in building financial safety and security.

More information on “Tell a Gal P.A.L.” is available at www.ClickToEmpower.org. Domestic violence survivors in need of immediate assistance are encouraged to call The National Domestic Violence Hotline, (800) 799-SAFE (800-799-7233).

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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