Allstate Foundation PSA features Serena Williams

2018 PSA - Serena Williams Hero (1)

If someone you knew was being financially abused, would you notice?

One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and 99 percent of these cases also include financial abuse, an often-invisible control tactic and one of the primary reasons victims can’t “just leave.”

This October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Allstate Foundation and program ambassador Serena Williams have launched on two new projects — a new PSA and a purse designed by Williams — with one powerful public call: help end domestic violence, once and for all.

“Invisible Weapon” is a thought-provoking, new PSA by Leo Burnett Chicago, featuring and narrated by Serena Williams. Directed by duo Stacey & Anthony, the online film dramatizes the differences between the familiar visual signs of physical abuse, like cuts or bruises, and the invisible signs of financial abuse.

Intimate and chilling, it emphasizes the tension between what is visible to outsiders and what harm can be hidden to help illustrate the unique challenges that victims of such an unseen and unspoken issue face. The film is intended to help drive much-needed public awareness for the issue. Take a look below:

ALSO READ: Allstate’s Purple Purse creates experiential film

“For more than a decade, The Allstate Foundation has put a spotlight on this devastating issue, stood up for the victims who have been silenced, and given hope to the survivors trying to break free,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate relations.

She added, “With Serena joining us to deliver this important message in ‘Invisible Weapon,’ we hope more men and women will speak up about domestic violence and financial abuse and be compelled to end it – once and for all.”

From restrictions on spending to ruined credit, the signs of financial abuse are often invisible, and many people don’t even know it exists. According to a 2018 national public opinion survey conducted by The Allstate Foundation, nearly 50 percent of respondents are unaware that financial abuse is a form of domestic violence.

“I’m proud to speak up for women who can’t use their voices, and let them know we’re working to end the cycle of abuse,” said Williams. “I hope that after viewing the video, people will be more aware of the hidden signs of financial abuse and they’ll understand the need to help those who’ve been burdened by it.”

One way the public can take action is by donating to domestic violence nonprofits through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge on Many of these organizations are faced with immense funding challenges. On a single day in 2017, more than 11,000 calls for help from domestic violence victims went unanswered due to the lack of nonprofit resources and staff to address the victims’ needs.

Championed by The Allstate Foundation, nearly 300 domestic violence nonprofits from across the U.S. are participating in the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the annual fundraiser coincides with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Funds raised by participating nonprofits will go toward providing life-changing services for survivors and their families, such as financial aid and financial empowerment, emergency shelter and child care, and food and transportation.

The urgent call for support coincides with the start of the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse® Challenge, which takes place now until October 31 and rallies 300 domestic violence nonprofits across the country to raise funds to provide crucial services to domestic violence survivors.

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse ambassador Serena Williams designed a limited-edition purple purse for the 2018 Purple Purse Challenge

To support the nonprofits’ fundraising efforts, Williams designed a limited-edition purse. This year’s unique design is a suede and leather purple backpack, which is a first of its kind for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse.

“A purse is symbolic of a woman’s financial domain. We’re thrilled Serena Williams took that to heart when designing the purse for the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, and we’re confident it will encourage an even greater number of people to get involved and support the participating nonprofits,” said Dinges.

Earlier this year, The Allstate Foundation and Williams launched a national street art campaign, also created by Leo Burnett Chicago, to spark conversation about this important issue through public murals containing hidden messages.

Client – All State Foundation

Agency: Leo Burnett
   CCO: Britt Nolan
   EVP, Executive Creative Director: Jeanie Caggiano
   SVP, Creative Directors: Natalie Taylor, Isabela Ferreira
   Associate Creative Director: Jillian Lamb
   Senior Copy Writer: Garrett Vernon
   Head of Production: Veronica Puc
   Group Executive Producer: Denis Giroux
   SVP, Executive Producer: Juan Woodbury
   VP, Celebrity Services Director: Peggy Walter
   Associate Producer: Chris Totzke
   Music Producer: Chris Clark
   SVP, Account Director: Bianca Bradford
   Account Director: Megan Meyer
   Account Executive: Brooke Feigenbaum

PR Agency: MSL Group
   Managing Director: Amy Cheronis
   SVP, Communications Director: Lynsey Elve
   Account Supervisor: Lily Merritt
   Senior Account Executive: Kelsey Costales
   Account Executive: Lauren Rasch

Production Company: M ss ng P eces
   Executive Producer: Edward Grann
   Director: Stacey & Anthony
   DP: Dan Stewart
   Line Producer: Mike Prall

Editorial: Hootenanny
   Editor: Nikki Vapensky
   Assistant Editor: Carly Mirro
   Executive Producer: Don Avila
   Post Producer: Samm Smith
   VFX & Finish: Jim Annerino

Color: Nolo
   Colorist: Mike Matusek

Audio Company: Another Country
   Sound Engineer: John Binder
   Audio Assistant: Josh Hunnicutt
   Executive Producer: Tim Konn
   Producer: Louise Rider

Music Studio: Squeak E. Clean
   Music Studio Executive Producer: Jocelyn Brown
   Composer: Justin Hori

Source: Leo Burnett

Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.