The YWCA Lower Cape Fear is out to help spread awareness of domestic & financial abuse in our community, and raise funds to support New Choices, our economic empowerment program that supports survivors, women, and their families on their path to professional, financial, and emotional self-sufficiency.
This September, the YWCA’s community was hit by Hurricane Florence. The storm has devastated many in Wilmington and our surrounding counties. Many New Choices participants have suffered significant loss of wages, loss of personal property and basic necessities, loss of safe and stable housing, and for some total loss of their homes. In the wake of natural disasters, incidents of domestic abuse are shown to increase. Many survivors are forced back into abusive relationships because they see no other option. Many lack vital resources and feel powerless and uncertain of how to rebuild.
This October, the YWCA Lower Cape Fear raised over $20,000 to support survivors of domestic & financial abuse recovering from Hurricane Florence.
Donations received during the Purple Purse Challenge will help women and children through childcare scholarships, safe housing for displaced families, and emergency funds for future needs as they rebuild from the storm. Our New Choices program will continue to support the efforts of these women as they pursue their educational, professional, and financial goals.
We thank everyone who supported and donated to our Purple Purse Challenge this year! The impact of your generosity is felt not only in our organization but in the homes of these women and their families.
YWCA Lower Cape Fear has received a $50,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation to improve the personal financial literacy of domestic violence survivors. It will use the funds to implement the Purple Purse Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment curriculum developed by The Allstate Foundation that teaches participants how to identify financial abuse and how to build fundamental skills they need to become financially self-sufficient. These much-needed funds will expand financial literacy education for survivors of domestic violence in the New Choices Economic Empowerment program and other survivors in the community who rely on the YWCA for support services.
“Domestic violence impacts 1 in 4 women in the US every year, but in North Carolina, that figure changes to 1 in 3 women who experience abuse at the hands of their partner. In most cases, survivors report financial abuse as well, adding to the extreme difficulty they face in removing themselves from abusive relationships. Sixty percent of our New Choices program participants are survivors of domestic violence or financial abuse. Our goal is to educate and empower these survivors to get their lives back on track emotionally and financially,” said Charrise Hart, YWCA Lower Cape Fear CEO.
Financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. Abusers deny victims access to money, ruin their credit by stealing their identity, or harass them at work so they lose their jobs. Without resources of their own, victims are often unable to care for themselves and their families, to find employment and housing, or to save for the future. Most victims who participate in YWCA domestic violence programs have no money or any other financial resources when they arrive.
YWCA Lower Cape Fear was selected for the grant because of its ongoing commitment to ending financial abuse, domestic abuse, and violence in all its forms. The Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment curriculum teaches participants how to recognize financial abuse, build and use or repair credit, create a budget, teach strategies for effectively managing personal finance, and prepare participants for opportunities for financial growth through microenterprise solutions.
The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is the longest-running national campaign focused on ending domestic violence through a proven solution: financial empowerment services for survivors. The Allstate Foundation offers a free comprehensive financial literacy tool designed specifically for survivors, the Purple Purse Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum, on PurplePurse.com.
Nationally, YWCA is the largest network of domestic violence service providers and YWCA USA is proud to call The Allstate Foundation a partner. YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s New Choices program has worked to support women taking steps toward financial independence and self-sufficiency since 1985. The program aims to help women build a strong economic base through learned financial fundamentals, empower women to make informed financial decisions to create impactful change in their lives, open opportunities for microenterprise loan assistance, and provide guidance in the development of short-term and long-term financial planning skills.