CAMDEN, NJ – An immigrant from Nigeria, she came to the United States 12 years ago. Her husband maintained full control of the finances and her life. She was given a small amount of money to buy only food for the family and he demanded receipts proving what she had spent. She was not permitted to spend money on clothing, gas, or personal needs without his permission.
He measured the gas level in her car, planned the driving route she was to travel, and controlled all other aspects of her life through denying her economic freedom. He paid all of the bills. The bank accounts, credit and debit cards, car, and house were all in his name. He constantly changed PIN numbers to ensure she was always denied access to financial means.
She was married to this man for 14 years. When she was strong enough, she left the marriage and came to the Camden County Women’s Center (CCWC) to move forward with her life. Through becoming educated in financial literacy, she learned about financial empowerment through the Allstate Foundation. She learned about building credit, opening bank accounts, and searched for housing.
The Financial Empowerment program, funded by the Allstate Foundation, gave her the opportunity to work on her own, address the problems that she had, and feel stronger about the decisions she needed to make on her own behalf for the first time in 14 years. She now lives financially secure and in her own home. She is in a healthy relationship and is aware now that she does not have to rely on another person to manager her financial needs.
The Allstate Foundation identifies financial empowerment as a need for survivors of domestic violence to enter self-sufficiency. They have awarded various domestic violence agencies across the country with a “Purple Purse” grant to begin financial empowerment programs for domestic violence survivors, which includes CCWC. On September 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM, the “Purple Purse” Challenge kicks off and fundraising runs through October 3, 2014.
CCWC is requesting help from the community in this challenge by visiting www.crowdrise.com/purplepurse-NJAC and the CCWC Facebook page. After donations are made through Crowdrise, CCWC is requesting to share the news of your donation and share more positivity by #CMYBEAUTY and naming what makes you a beautiful person. The part of the challenge will also kick-off September 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM and will be done online and in-person at the Sephora of Cherry Hill store, where guests can meet with a store associate who will allow visitors to write down an “I am beautiful” phrase. Phrase cards (no photographs) will be displayed at both CCWC shelter and outreach sites in the hopes of creating conversation with survivors of domestic violence about true beauty.
All donations assist CCWC to provide domestic violence survivors with the services they need for safety, security and the strength to move forward.