Serena Williams Speaks Out About Financial Abuse

Serena Williams

Serena Williams Speaks Out About Financial Abuse

The 23-time Grand Slam Champion opened up about helping a friend through financial abuse.

Published September 27, 2019

Written by Jarod Hector

Serena Williams is no stranger to advocating for the rights of others. 

The most famous female athlete in the world, and the greatest tennis player of all time, is using her tremendous clout to help victims of financial abuse. 

According to Self, Williams has partnered with the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse initiative to raise awareness about financial abuse in relationships.

Williams has secondhand experience in this area, as she first became interested while helping a friend through an abusive situation. 

Much the same way Williams approaches all things in her life, she consumed as much knowledge and information as she could. She met with survivors and learned of the connection between domestic and financial abuse. 

According to the Purple Purse Initiative, 99% of domestic violence involves some form of financial abuse. That number startled Williams. 

“That was such an incredibly high number,” Williams told Self. “It is basically all cases [of domestic violence].”

Williams talked to survivors of domestic abuse and heard stories of the various forms of abuse, including financial, that can occur. 

“It’s really important to know the signs and educate yourself,” said Williams. “If you see them trying to handle your accounts, or trying to decide where you should spend money, or asking you for receipts, these are really big signs and red flags.”

As a mother, Williams also wants to help shape the world her daughter, Olympia, will grow up in. Williams’ clarity of focus around issues impacting women is beyond incredible. 

“I also have a daughter and I want her to know about [this],” she said.. “You have to get really comfortable having uncomfortable conversations.”

The common thread among all victims is a sense of fear and powerlessness. Your agency is taken away and the road to getting it back is arduous. 

To her credit, Williams understands this and knows her voice, her celebrity and platform can make a difference. That’s why she’s joined the fight. 

“That’s what I’m doing now,” she said. “Using my voice.”

(Photo: Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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