Kerry Washington Discusses What She's Doing for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington is lending her voice to the cause.

When Washington isn't playing the high-profile powerhouse Olivia Pope on the critically-acclaimed ABC hit show "Scandal," or being a supermom and wife, she is empowering women through her work as a passionate spokeswoman for a handful of organizations and causes, including the fight to ending violence against women.

"I have been really passionate for ending violence against women for a very long time," Washington said at AOL Build, having worked with MAKER and playwright Eve Ensler's organization V-Day in the past.

A huge lover of fashion as well, Washington explained, "This was an initiative to create a way to talk about financial abuse — by designing a purple purse."

"It's purple because purple is the color for domestic violence awareness," she said. "A purse a symbol for where a women keeps all the things that matter to her — all the things of value."

The organization was created to raise public awareness and increase fundraising to highlight the importance of "long-term safety and security for survivors through financial empowerment," as stated on the Allstate Foundation's website.

"While most of us thin of only physical abuse, financial abuse happens in almost 98 percent of cases," Washington said in the Purple Purse PSA.

Already, the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has helped more than 580,000 victims navigate a safer and secure way of life.

Ultimately, the goal is to empower women to break free from abuse, and to end the vicious cycle on violence against women, once and for all.

To learn more about how to get involved, visit the

Watch Washington in the video above talk about the meaning behind the purse and her involvement with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse.

NEXT: Why I Love Women Who Walk the Walk »

Related Stories:
"I'm Not Writing a Show About a Role Model"
No Wonder Kerry Washington’s Being Honored By GLAAD

Photo Credit: Ben Gabbe via Getty Images