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Among the lists of celebrities who can do no wrong, Kerry Washington tops the chart. Known to speak out on issues plaguing women, Washington used her star power and passion for fashion to speak out on domestic violence as well as financial abuse.

Prior to the video of Ray Rice assaulting his then fiancée surfacing, Washington filmed a PSA examining a rare aspect of domestic violence—financial abuse. The two-time Emmy-nominated actress said, “For many, many of those cases — 98 percent of those cases — the financial abuse is what keeps a woman trapped,” Washington said. “Not being able to control your finances, destroying a woman’s credit, jeopardizing her job.”

“It’s the reason why so many people stay. That whole hashtag #WhyIStayed that happened last week, you saw how many of those responses were about feeling trapped financially … I think people just aren’t as aware of financial abuse. If a woman isn’t even aware of the dynamics of financial abuse — what it looks like, what it is — she may not even know that that’s part of the tools being used to control her and manipulate her and keep her trapped. When there is more information around it, people can begin to identify it and then get the help they need.”

 

The “Scandal” star has always crusaded for domestic violence awareness, so it was no surprise Washington snagged the opportunity to be the 2014 Purple Purse Program ambassador.

In an interview with InStyle, she said, “When this opportunity came along, I felt like it was such a great chance for me to be part a of the solution, and this bag is a way to address helping women in a very tangible, specific way.”

In addition to the Purple Purse Program ambassador, the mother-of-one is also an active member of the V-Counsel, a well-regarded group of advisers to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. She is also part of the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities, handpicked by President Obama.

Check out the actress PSA below.

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  • MyTwoCents

    I think this is a big step in the right direction. A lot of women are controlled by witholding money or access to it, even it they earn it. Men ruin their credit and/or cause them to lose their jobs by showing up and causing scenes. I hope more women can be helped to avoid the financial-abuse trap.