GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) The YWCA West Central Michigan is the only domestic violence organization in West Michigan participating in the national Purple Purse Challenge. The challenge raises awareness about the vital role financial security plays in ending domestic abuse.
An abuser often traps his victim in a relationship by removing her access to bank accounts, ruining her credit, or controlling her spending. An abuser’s behavior also often results in his victim losing her job. His tight control over her ability to even put gas in her car makes leaving the relationship nearly impossible. Studies show that financial independence is the number one predictor of a victim’s ability to end an abusive relationship.
Until October 3, the Purple Purse Challenge will raise funds for organizations like the YWCA that offer financial empowerment services to victims. Purple Purse has given the YWCA West Central Michigan, the region’s most comprehensive service provider for victims of domestic and sexual violence, a designated Crowdrise fundraising page where people can donate directly to this local organization while supporting its efforts in the Purple Purse Challenge.
Each day more than $100 is donated through this page, the YWCA is entered into a drawing to win even more money. Additional weekly challenges will earn the YWCA spots in drawings awarding up to $10,000. Across the range of YWCA services, it costs approximately $500 per person to care for those who reach out for help.
The scale of domestic abuse locally is extraordinary and underscores the need for heightened awareness. More than 4,000 victims of domestic violence were reported by Kent County law enforcement agencies last year alone (Michigan Uniform Crime Report). And that’s just the ones that were reported. To raise awareness, well-known local media personalities, government officials, and community members are publicly throwing their support behind the YWCA’s challenge. Participants include:
YWCA West Central Michigan transforms lives with empowerment programs for girls and the community’s most comprehensive services to address domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child sexual abuse. At the heart of that work is their mission: eliminating racism; empowering women and girls; and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.