Friday, September 26, 2014

Sharing My Purple Purse Story to End Financial Abuse

*This is a compensated blog post in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. Everything stated is my own opinion, and my story*
If you had to walk out on your life right now, right this very second, do you think you could do it? This is not an exercise asking what 3 things you would grab from your house if it was burning or what you want to be stranded on a deserted island with. Rather, I'm asking you to think about the things that keep you where you are, doing what you do and staying with the people you are with. Could you really walk out on all of that?

As much as we like to think money and finances shouldn't and don't control our lives, they do. It's the reason why so many women stay in abusive relationships, and a huge factor for why domestic violence becomes a repetitive thing. Last year Allstate Foundation began working with, Purple Purse, a program that uses the symbol of a purse to stand for domestic and financial abuse that so many women face, and empowers them through financial independence. 

A lot of you reading this might not even realize financial abuse is a thing. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 Americans do not know that financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse. I know that a lot of the people that I talked to initially insisted that they had never heard of such a thing, but were able to come up with a few examples when faced with the idea that it can and does happen. 

Domestic abuse is one of those things that no one wants to talk about, and when stories come out-- and they always do-- everyone has something to say about the victim, abuser and circumstances. Labels, stereotypes, assumptions and judgements go to work and take away even more control of the situation from the victim. In my personal experience, dealing with all the after has been just as hard, and sometimes harder, than dealing with what happened to me. 

It's painful, but I know that sharing what happens to us makes a huge difference in the way someone else responds to a situation later. After seeing the way so many people responded to the big domestic violence news stories that recently came out, I said yes to sharing my story. So here goes. 

The time that it took you to read that is about the same amount of time I had to deal with it. Those split seconds of acceptance, from that moment to this, were the few seconds that I felt in control. 

Are you over it yet? Can you forget about what I just told you? Push it out of your mind yet? Can you think about how everyone else is feeling for just a minute? Think you can pretend it never happened in time for my big life moment? It turned out okay, right, you're still here.


I was fortunate that my what's next/what am I going to do, all those financial how, why, what's, were not controlled by anyone that hurt me. That does not mean it was easy. 

And with that I walked away from my life.
My show of support for Purple Purse.

For 98% of people that are victims of domestic abuse, the financial abuse is what keeps them trapped. If you don't have access to money to leave, provide for yourself, your children etc it becomes a reason to stay-- if only to wait it out till you can leave.  

Purple Purse was started to make sure that no one needs to stay trapped in an abusive relationship because of money. Financial literacy and independence are powerful tools, tools every woman should possess, no matter what her situation looks like right now. 

Allstate invested more than half a million dollars to the Purple Purse Challenge, and Kerry Washington became the ambassador for the program! Anyone can donate to Purple Purse, here, and help someone going through what I went through. I don't think a lot of people realize how much it happens, how many women stay silent, how family members and friends come together to put pressure on victims to stay silent. 

Kerry designed a purple purse, her symbol of support and to inspire women to reclaim their financial independence. 

Being in control means everything. And being able to talk about domestic violence can change a life. 

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

A note to my friends that may be reading about this for the first time. I am safe. I am well. Sophie

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Astronauts, Launches, a Kickstarter from @SpaceFlightGrp and #ISSRDC

I've never met anyone that had the opportunity to see a shuttle or rocket launch and wasn't changed by it. Most of us become addicted, lining the streets, bridges and nearby waterways to feel that rumble. 

Three years ago today, I was sitting on the banks of the Indian River, with my three sisters, hoping to see my first and last shuttle launch.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Disney On Ice is Back in Chicago!

Disney on Ice is back! Before I had a couple little tastes of Disney, you couldn't convince me it was at all entertaining. But then I went to Disney World, actually watched a couple of the films and last year I went to Disney on Ice. So much fun!

Disney on Ice is coming back to Chicago in just a couple weeks, and I have a ticket promo for all my blog readers that want to go. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Canyon Rafting With The Adventure Company! #Travel #Adventure

Finding good, safe outfitters when you are traveling is always important. I like to do a little research before every trip, but there are some times when you are traveling without concrete plans that you need to make a choice on the go. 

Got some information in my email today about The Adventure Company and thought I would share it with my readers. I know a lot of you are always looking for travel ideas for the family. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mango Shortcake You'll Want to Crave #Recipe #DairyFree

With mangoes being in season, they have been super cheap so I always grab a couple at a time. The extra leaves me with one to try making something new, even if I don't always know what that something new is going to be. A couple weeks ago I was thinking about strawberry shortcake, only I didn't have strawberries on hand. 

So instead I made this!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Milo's Kitchen Treats for Zorro and a #MKTreatTruck #Giveaway

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post the Milo’s Kitchen® dog treats, gift cards, and information have been provided by Milo’s Kitchen® to complete this review. All opinions are my own, with input from Zorro. *

When it comes to Zorro's health and diet, everyone tells me I spoil him, but I don't see it that way. Everyone should provide their family pet with the best diet possible in order to maintain their health.  When the Milo's Kitchen Treats folks contacted me, I looked over all the ingredients and info on their website and was impressed. So Zorro and I decided to give them a try!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Secret to More Fans is...More Babies! #MiEquipoMiHerencia #futbol

*Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Pampers. All opinions are 100% mine.*
It's FINALLY here! FĂștbol time is always a big time for my family and friends. For my immediate family, its all about our team, mi equipo, but everyone in the extended family roots for a different team depending on the country they feel the strongest about.  The more kids you have, the larger your cheering section. My cousins and I all identify with different Latin American countries based on where all my tias are from-- funny how that works out.