St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House urging support for survivors of domestic violence, financial abuse
Sunday, October 7, 2018 - 5:42 pm

St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House is one of more than 300 nonprofits urging the public to support survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse during The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, which takes place Oct. 2 to 31.

The annual campaign coincides with what renewal house calls “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” which is held in October.

On an average day across the nation in 2017, victims made nearly 11,500 requests for services— including emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare, legal representation, and more—that could not be provided because programs did not have the resources to provide these services. The most frequently requested non-residential services that could not be provided were housing advocacy, legal representation, and financial assistance. The Purple Purse Challenge provides a critical funding source for domestic violence agencies that increasingly face high demand for their services, even as they operate with limited resources.

"Domestic Violence agencies rely on the public's support to meet the needs of survivors," said Ilene J Burke, executive director of St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House. "That's why The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge is so important. This fundraising effort helps us raise money so we can keep helping survivors regain and rebuild their lives."

New York State served approximately 7,100 survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse in 2017, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence national census. In St. Lawrence County, 754 survivors of domestic violence were served.

This is the second year St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House is participating in the Purple Purse Challenge, which last year helped 220 domestic violence programs around the country raise over $3.5 million. St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House will participate in Division III nonprofits with budgets less than $1million. With help from the community, Renewal House was able to raise $6,348.45 last year.

In 99 percent of domestic violence cases, victims will experience financial abuse, which means their abusers will deny them access to money and financial resources they need to break free. Financial abuse is one of the primary reasons domestic violence victims stay in or return to abusive relationships. Without resources of their own, victims are often unable to care for themselves and their families, find employment and housing, or save for the future.

The Purple Purse Challenge provides several opportunities for nonprofits to exceed their fundraising goals. For example, the nonprofit in each division that raises the most money will receive a $100,000 grant. Additional grants range from $50,000 for second place to $5,000 for seventh place. There are also weekly bonus challenges.

And to further boost their fundraising efforts, nonprofits will receive a purple purse designed by tennis champion and Purple Purse Ambassador, Serena Williams. Handcrafted from premium Italian leather, the limited-edition purse backpack is valued at $350. St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House will feature the purse at their annual dinner on October 10th . In addition to this one purse being sent to each participating nonprofit, each week one individual will be randomly selected from all donors to the Purple Purse Challenge on PurplePurse.com to win a purse.

While purses are available in limited supply, individuals can also show their support for survivors by purchasing Purple Purse charms for $10 through PurplePurse.com between Oct. 2 and Oct. 31. Each charm comes with a short story about a domestic violence survivor who used financial resources to regain their independence. Proceeds from charm sales benefit 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge participants.

The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge is administered by CrowdRise and is part of Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, a public education and fundraising program aimed at raising awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence and financial abuse and the need for resources to help survivors. Since 2005, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has propelled more than 1.3 million survivors on the path to safety and security, and invested more than $60 million to empower victims to break free from abuse through life-changing financial education, job training and readiness and small business programs for survivors

Help St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House reach their goal of $10,000 by contributing to the Purple Purse Challenge and help them win an additional $100,000. Follow Renewal House on facebook.com/SLVRenewalHouse or go to slvrenewalhouse.org. For any questions, contact Renewal House at 315-379-9845.