By InStyle Staff
Updated Sep 22, 2014 @ 10:35 am
Kerry Washington
Credit: PRNewsFoto/Allstate Foundation

As an ambassador for Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Program, Kerry Washington is able to use her love for fashion to support a cause that's close to her heart. Below, she shares all the details of the project with InStyle as today's guest editor. Check back throughout the day for exclusive content straight from the star herself at

When Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Program reached out to me, I was deeply inspired to collaborate with them. I have worked around the issue of violence against women for a long time (with other organizations like V-Day), but I never thought about financial abuse in this specific, explicit way. I realized the opportunity to work with Purple Purse by designing a bag that represents empowerment, encourages awareness, and aids in getting women the help they need, would be a tangible, concrete way to make a difference.

One in four women will be a victim of domestic abuse. The goal of Purple Purse is to make talking about domestic violence, and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships, easier and more commonplace. When you visit you can see that it was created to look like a style or shopping site so that women who are struggling with these issues can visit and not feel embarrassed. It is designed to make women feel more comfortable while getting the help they may need.

As part of this approach, I was invited to design a bag that symbolizes the objectives of the initiative: getting more people to talk about, recognize and heal from financial abuse. I’m very proud of the design of the purse. As someone who loves bags, I’m thrilled to wear it and honored to own it. The design was inspired by what the bag stands for—the color is purple, the signature color of domestic violence awareness. It's a good-sized bag, not a tiny little clutch, but rather a bag that can carry your keys, your wallet, your phone—all the things you need to get through the day. The leather and tweed mix together to make it feel classy, yet on-trend and modern. I gave it a side handle because I like the idea of holding the clutch close to you and making sure it’s safe. You can hold on to it the way you need to hold onto your financial well-being.

Currently, Allstate Foundation is hosting the Purple Purse Challenge—hoping to raise $2 million for 135 organizations around the country that are helping women. Every day, 10,000 calls to domestic violence centers go unanswered. 10,000 calls go out to these organizations, and they just don’t have the resources to respond. The funds will help make sure that when these women reach out for help, there’s somewhere they can go to immediately get an answer. The goal is to give women the tools they need to stand on their own financially and get out of abusive situations. I encourage you to donate to the cause and show your support for the issue by adorning one of the 80,000 purple purse tassels The Allstate Foundation has produced and keep the conversation going.

For more information on Kerry Washington's Purple Purse campaign with Allstate, watch the PSA above and visit to find out how you can get involved.