This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Financial abuse and domestic abuse sometimes go hand in hand, it’s no surprise to me that this happens as I have a friend who was a victim of financial abuse whilst he was serving in the military a few years back.  The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is raising awareness for this cause; they aim to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through financial empowerment.

This campaign is very important to me as I saw how much my friend suffered, what he went through and how hard it was to bring himself back up from rock bottom.  Just over 8 years ago my husband introduced me to a family he knew, his friend’s wife and I instantly hit it off and we soon became good friends and went everywhere together.  We went through pregnancy together and held each other’s hand when our husbands got deployed to Afghanistan. Now if you are familiar with the military, you will know they don’t get paid a lot, when my husband was overseas we budgeted and saved so when he returned we had a good amount saved up for our little growing family to have a good start when he finally left the military.  My friend at the time made plans with her husband but didn’t follow through once he was overseas towards the end of their deployment.

The first thing that struck me was that she wanted to eat out every night, every single night and she would then complain about her husband not earning enough money “for her”.  I put it down to her being stressed out over her husband being gone.  One time she complained to me that her husband had spent money on a baseball bat, when they have any downtime overseas playing sports was a form of stress relief and fun for our husbands. I really didn’t see the problem with him buying a baseball bat as she seemed to be in control of the money he earned and managed to eat out every night but it wasn’t my family and she was my friend so I didn’t get involved.

About 4 weeks before the end of deployment, my friend stopped answering my phone calls, I was worried as I hadn’t heard from her in over a week so I went over to her house to see if she was okay.  She answered the door but she was pretty short with me so I left it at that and hoped she would come around.  My husband got in touch with me about a week later, he had been sharing a tent with my friend’s husband, her husband told my husband that his wife had cleared out his bank account, bought a car and moved back home with her parents.  I was shocked, this wasn’t the friend I knew, how could she do this? When the guys returned home, she had filed for divorce.  Shortly after the divorce went through she had moved in with another man.

Now, this was my friend but I didn’t know her as well as I thought. My husband and I are still friends with the husband and as part of the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Campaign, he wanted to share his perspective.

My wife and I had been together for 3 years, I thought I knew her, I thought I could trust her, I loved her and I let her have control whilst I was deployed, we had a kid together.  Before I was deployed we set goals to save for our future but shortly after I was gone I saw our account dwindling, I thought hey, she’s just blowing off a little steam but this continued throughout the course of my deployment.  She would always stay in touch and if I spent any money over there, I would hear about it, she would go off at me.  I loved her so I took the abuse.  When I returned home I was heartbroken, she had left, taken everything, our child, our savings. I was devastated. It tore me apart and it took me two years to get my life back together.  We have now both moved on and share joint custody of our child but it’s something I will never forget, I gave her my trust and my love, I wanted to take care of my family and ended up being the victim of Financial Abuse.

Did you know that financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of all domestic violence cases? It’s the No. 1 reason victims stay in or return to abusive relationships.

The Allstate Foundation drives fundraising for local, state and national nonprofits, these provide crucial financial empowerment tools and resources to survivors of domestic violence.

If I had known what my friend was planning on doing at the time, I would have tried to do something about it, what would you do in this situation? Check out this short, compelling video that’s focused on raising awareness to this too often silent issue.

Domestic and financial abuse is an issue that so many people face and it’s not easy to just get up and leave, especially when you have a family, lack of funds and violence to contend with.

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