For most women like me, we were taught at a really young age about etiquette and class. We learned how to wear makeup, how to do our hair, and how walk in our first pair of heels. My mother taught me how to be a woman of class. One thing she had introduced to me at the tender age of 3 is carrying a purse. A purse is what every girl adores. We would walk side by side with our mothers to the store with our purses on our shoulders just like mommy. We felt empowered to obtain such a status to be just like mommy with our purses out in public. That purse was a representation of a young lady’s source of independence. With different colors and styles, sisters from various walks of life have purses to match that special outfit or event. Whether you see me wearing a cross-body purse to go out shopping for even a nice clutch to church or a banquet, the purse is a woman’s BFF. The years have passed and the purse that was introduced to us as little girls has become the greatest necessity to have in our womanhood.
I used to put only a dollar for offering in my purse when I was younger, then it had a piece of candy, a pen, my glasses, some Chapstick, and my animaniacs wallet. Now, there’s more important stuff I carry in my purse. The more things I put in my purse, the more protective I am with it. There were times when I would walk away from my purse and my mother would say, “Nish, don’t leave your purse alone! Somebody might steal it.” The thought of somebody stealing my purse is a scary feeling, even now. To think that your drivers license, credit and debit cards, money, medications, phone, makeup, check book, etc. is at risk of being gone in a split second is a woman’s nightmare. Think about those shows and movies when a woman is walking down minding her business and a robber dashes out left field and takes her purse and runs off. The woman is screaming for help feeling violated.
Thus, the purse is more than an accessory. It is the representation of a woman’s financial independence and security of her identity while away from home. So, I know that you are wondering why this blog is about purses and questioning my obsession over purses. Here’s why, This month, October, is the domestic violence awareness month. “What does that have to do with a purse, Nish?” During the month of October, I have decided to wear a purple purse all month long to raise awareness of DV since purple is the color for DV awareness. As mentioned, the purse is the representation of financial independence, many victims of DV are financially abused. Their source of income can be used as a trap to keep them in the bondage of abuse. Some ladies find themselves hiding money from their parents in certain places. I have been inspired by actress, Kerry Washington of this unique type of way of educating others about this silent killer claiming the lives of women more than cancer.
Here are some facts from the Department of Justice:
- 1 in 4 women report experiencing domestic violence in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer combined.
- Having little to no financial knowledge and resources is the number one indicator of whether a domestic violence victim will stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship.
- Therefore, Financial abuse is a secret trap
- Every day, DV claims the lives of at least 3 women.
- Women ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
If you would like to know what you can do to help put an end to DV, go to http://www.purplepurse.com to detect signs of abuse, take action, and help someone in need. You can grab yourself a nice purple purse or tie a purple ribbon/string/scarf around your purse/bag and post it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagran with the hashtag #morethananaccessory to help raise awareness of Domestic Violence / Financial Abuse.
This month I will wear my purple purse with pride in the name of DV awareness.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” We are to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.
Forever Naturally Adorned and Aware,
- U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, 2013 http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm
- U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2007 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipvus.pdf
- Catalano, S. (2012). Intimate partner violence, 1993-2010. US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4536