We all know that Serena Williams is strong as all-get-out. Whether she's demanding respect from sexist referees or telling male coaches to respect mothers' bodies, she's always using her platform to advocate for other women. But for Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, Serena is taking a special stand against interpersonal abuse. And her reasoning is heartbreaking.
The tennis extraordinaire partnered with Purple Purse, Allstate Foundation's program dedicated to helping domestic violence survivors, for a new campaign. She designed a handbag (really a backpack) and its proceeds provide tools and resources to flocal nonprofits. According to the organization, Serena's work with Allstate Foundation has helped raise millions of dollars.
When asked what makes her so passionate about advocating for women, Serena had a heartfealt answer. She told Elle.com that her 13-month-old daugher, Olympia, has made her "so, so attached" to the causes she cares about.
"Having a daughter changes your outlook on so many things in the world," she told Elle.com. "The last year has really changed my already passionate mindset."
Historically, Serena has been a strong advocate for survivors of the less-aired financial abuse. This summer, she attended the unveiling of a series of murals about financial abuse in New York City. She is also quick to talk to the press about the issue, which she believes is still shrouded in misunderstanding.
""[Victims] can’t leave their situation[s], because they cannot financially afford to," Williams told Elle.com. "We want to make them aware that's not okay... and provide victims a safe way out of violence through financial tools and resources."
And although her daughter may be her inspiration for ensuring all women are equal, she cares about every survivor.
"There’s a lot of other women out there that could be my daughter or my sister that are in an [abusive] situation," she said. "You never know… Sometimes you meet a person and they’re amazing and a week later or a month later or a couple years later they turn out to be something different, and it's not [your] fault."
That's an important message from one of the strongest women on Earth. Sometimes a situation isn't your fault. Sometimes it's out of your control. But with initiatives like Serena's, we can give women the tools to take back control of their lives.