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Television Star Ana Ortiz and The Allstate Foundation Encourage Americans to 'Tell a Gal P.A.L.' About Domestic Violence

Published 09-24-08

Submitted by Allstate Insurance Company

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, yet few discuss the issue. To kick off National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, TV star Ana Ortiz is partnering with The Allstate Foundation to encourage Americans to "Tell a Gal P.A.L." about domestic violence and donate a purse.

As part of the "Tell a P.A.L." campaign, Ms. Ortiz whom by her own personal experience with domestic violence, will open up her heart and closet to raise awareness of domestic violence and financial abuse. From September 22 through October 3, Ms. Ortiz and The Allstate Foundation encourage people to donate nearly new purses or professional bags. The donated purses will be given to the non-profit Dress for Success organization to help domestic violence survivors, or other women in need, get back on their feet and enter or re-enter the workforce with confidence. Ms. Ortiz will also donate her Onna Ehrlich purse to one lucky winner for telling gal pals about domestic violence.

Purse donations will be accepted at select Allstate agency locations across the nation. A list of donation locations is available at http://www.ClickToEmpower.org. By visiting the Web site, people can find information and resources on domestic violence, as well as enter for a chance to win an Onna Ehrlich purse from Ms. Ortiz's personal collection. Bonus entries to win Ms. Ortiz's purse will be awarded for those who "Tell a Gal P.A.L." through online messages to family and friends.

"Knowing first-hand the devastating impact domestic violence has on families has motivated me to help others in abusive situations," said Ms. Ortiz. "By working with groups, such as the Allstate Foundation and its Tell a Gal Pal program, we are removing the stigma associated with this highly sensitive subject by encouraging people to talk openly about domestic violence and economic empowerment."

"Economic empowerment is vital to ending the cycle of abuse," said Vicky Dinges, assistant vice president of social responsibility, Allstate Corporation. "Financial control is one of the most common ways an abuser keeps a victim from leaving a dangerous relationship, often by limiting access to money and other economic resources."

The "Tell a Gal P.A.L." program focuses on purses as they serve as symbol of economic empowerment for women. Research from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows that women with financial skills are more likely to leave abusive situations and sustain themselves and their families on a long-term basis.

Through its "Pass It On, Act and Learn," the "Tell a Gal P.A.L." campaign creates awareness and starts an open dialogue about domestic violence and how economic empowerment can provide a path to a safe future. "Pass it On, Act and Learn" consists of the following important steps:

    -- Pass It On - Spread the word to your gal pals that domestic violence touches all of us and it can happen to anyone. Let your gal pals know that financial abuse is part of domestic abuse. Talk freely about domestic violence to break down the taboo.
    -- Act - Small acts make a big difference. Encourage your gal pals to actively plan for a secure financial future. Start a savings plan for emergencies or get a copy of your credit report.
    -- Learn - Learn about the resources available to help yourself, or someone you know, out of an abusive situation. Take steps to protect your personal and financial safety whether you're in an abusive relationship or not, and empower yourself.
Domestic violence survivors in need of immediate assistance are encouraged to call The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE.

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote "safe and vital communities"; "tolerance, inclusion, and diversity"; and "economic empowerment." The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America's families achieve their American dream. For additional information, visit http://www.clicktoempower.org.

About Ana Ortiz
Ana Ortiz stars on ABC's Emmy award-winning comedy "Ugly Betty" as Betty's (America Ferrera) older sister "Hilda." Ortiz plays an outgoing, overprotective, single mother who is nothing short of feisty. Ortiz will be back for the highly anticipated third season of "Ugly Betty," which premieres Sept. 25.

About Dress for Success
Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization with the mission to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and a network of support to help them thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 90 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.K. To date, Dress for Success has helped more than 450,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. Visit http://www.dressforsuccess.org to learn more.

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