Purple Purses throughout Sumter Co. bring attention to domestic violence

SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Throughout the rest of the month you will see purple scattered throughout Sumter County.

The YWCA of the Upper Lowlands has been chosen by the Allstate Foundation to participate in the Purple Purse Challenge, a fundraising initiative geared towards domestic Violence.

The Violence Policy Center ranks South Carolina as the second worst state in the nation when it comes to violence against women. Sumter County ranks third in the state for domestic violence.

The YWCA of the Upper Lowlands is the only shelter for victims of domestic violence in Sumter County. Participating in the challenge will help the non-profit raise the funds needed to help abused women in the area.

"What we do is provide individuals with safety plans to kind of ensure that they at least know their options. It's not the answer to everything, but it at least gives an individual their options. Being the only shelter here in Sumter County that makes a huge difference. A lot of people are not aware of that the YWCA has a Domestic Violence Shelter," Cleyardis McDonald-Amaker with the YWCA said.

The Purple Purse Challenge is a way to bring awareness to domestic violence and how the YWCA serves their community. Purple Purses will be given to local leaders to pass along between family and friends.

The purses are symbols of financial empowerment and how financial independence can help with survivor's safety.

"You see them say, 'Well what am I going to do with my money? I'm not used to handling my own money,' that's kind of what a portion of the financial seminar and series teaches the fact that we have individuals that don't know," said McDonald-Amaker. "So that educational factor plays a huge and pivotal role in security planning including security for their own future."

Purple tassels will be worn on purses as well. If you see someone wearing a purple tassel it means they can help you with two things: if you're a victim of domestic violence they can get you in touch with the help you need, or if you're interested in helping they can tell you how to donate or get involved.

Click here for more information on the Purple Purse Challenge.

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