Allstate, Serena Williams fight domestic abuse


Art by Isabel Castillo Guiharro

“I am proud
to use my voice
and influence
to bring more awareness
to financial abuse”

Serena Williams

What if we could share murals of domestic and financial abuse on social media the same way we share, say pictures of our dinner? Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse, together with program ambassador, and tennis champion, Serena Williams certainly hope they can make that happen by tapping into a new national street art campaign. The goal – to educate the public about domestic violence and make the invisible weapon of financial abuse visible (and shareable) to all.

Since 2005, Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse has empowered more than 1.3 million survivors on the road to safety and security through its educational resources, including The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Moving Ahead curriculum. The curriculum equips victims with the necessary knowledge to empower themselves financially and recover from financial abuse.

New research, released to coincide with Financial Literacy Month in April, found that 1 in 3 Americans believe domestic violence is a taboo topic, a 10-point increase since 2014. The study also revealed that nearly half of Americans are not familiar with financial abuse as a form of domestic violence, when in fact it’s one of the top reasons victims can’t “just leave.” Financial abuse tactics include preventing victims from working or keeping them from accessing bank accounts, credit cards or cash.

Beginning this summer, Purple Purse will team with female artists in six cities — New York, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles — across the country, to make the invisible weapon of financial abuse visible through share-worthy works of art.

The first mural, created by artist Isabel Castillo Guijarro, was unveiled by Williams yesterday at Tictail Market, 90 Orchard St. in New York City.


“Domestic violence will affect 1 in 4 women in her lifetime. Yet even in a time when people seem to openly discuss most aspects of their lives — especially on social media — it’s something that remains largely hidden,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate relations.”

Purple Purse Mural Color-inside

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Dinges adds, “Surprisingly, our research shows the stigma around domestic violence has increased over the past few years. By tapping into the growing popularity of free street art and turning it into a vehicle for social good, we hope these murals will bring financial abuse and domestic violence out of the shadows, and inspire a new network of allies for domestic violence survivors.”

Once the message is revealed, Purple Purse encourages visitors to share their photos on social media using the hashtag #SafeWayOut. In doing so, they will join Purple Purse and Williams in their efforts to help put an end to the domestic violence epidemic, once and for all.

“With social media, everyone has an opportunity to tell a story and make an impact,” Williams said. “As the public becomes more comfortable talking about domestic violence and financial abuse, it will also become easier to spot the signs, help a victim or stand up to an abuser.”

The New York mural will be available for public viewing through the week of July 16. In the weeks ahead, five additional Purple Purse street art murals will be unveiled across the country and will stay up through October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

Houston, The Heights, (week of June 25) created by Ana Marietta
New Orleans, Oak Street, (week of July 16) created by Milagros Collective
Chicago, Wicker Park, (week of July 23) created by Lauren Asta
Seattle, (week of Aug. 6) created by Ellen Picken
Los Angeles, (week of Aug. 13) created by Carolyn Suzuki

The murals are bold, colorful and poignant. Stay updated with new murals with Reel Chicago as we follow the campaign all summer.

CLIENT: Allstate Foundation Purple Purse

AGENCY: Leo Burnett & MSL Chicago
   Chief Creative Officer: Britt Nolan
   EVP, Creative Director: Jeanie Caggiano
   SVP, Creative Director: Isabela Ferreira
   SVP, Creative Director: Natalie Taylor
   Senior Art Director: Jillian Lamb
   Senior Copywriter: Garrett Vernon
   Head of Production: Veronica Puc
   SVP, Executive Producer: Juan Woodbury
   SVP, Executive Producer: Denis Giroux
   Producer: Kylie Loeffler
   Associate Producer: Luke Crawford
   VP, Director of Celebrity Services: Peggy Walter
   Celebrity Services Associate: Alina Carrel
   SVP, Account Director: Bianca Bradford
   Account Director: Megan Meyer
   Strategy Director: Jessica Estes
   Account Supervisor: Ryan Seagram

   Managing Director: Amy Cheronis
   VP, Communications Director: Lynsey Elve
   Account Supervisor: Lily Merritt
   Senior Account Executive: Kelsey Costales

Production Company – Native Content
   Producer – Sean Blair
   DP – David Smoler
   1st AC – Sarah Phoenix
   Sound Op – Alan Bucaria
   Makeup – Tomoyo Shionome
   PA – Josias Valdez

Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.