A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Allstate agents offer financial education classes to Kentucky domestic violence survivors

By Nadia Ramlagan
Public News Service

Allstate insurance agents are helping domestic violence survivors with financial literacy by teaching financial education classes at shelters across the Commonwealth.

Kimberlie Rigsby is an Allstate agent in Brown County who also is a domestic violence survivor. She teaches women the basics of budgeting, bank accounts and credit scores.

Rigsby says many people don’t realize that financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse.

Domestic violence shelters across Kentucky are offering financial education classes. (Photo from Adobe Stock, via PNS)

“Financial abuse is not letting you have access to your own money,” she points out. “Telling others like family members and friends things that are not true.

“They start planting a seed from the very beginning. In my case, I couldn’t even have change in my purse.”

More than 2,000 survivors of domestic violence in Kentucky – most of whom are single mothers with annual incomes of less than $15,000 – will receive free economic empowerment services this year.

Andrea Richard, a senior communications consultant with the Allstate Foundation, says the $50,000 grant her organization awarded the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence to help to jump-start the program is part of a long-standing commitment.

“With domestic violence, specifically, we help to financially empower survivors,” she states.

Allstate also is working with several domestic violence shelters across the state to help collect donations of household goods and school supplies for survivors in need.

Andrea Miller, client services project director of the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says survivors who are leaving an abusive home have to start life over completely.

“I think one of the important parts about this is, of course, survivors, of course, are coming into shelter with essentially nothing,” she points out. “Whatever they can pack up in a suitcase or trash bag, or the clothes on their back. For their kids as well, if they have children, this is what they come in with.”

Miller points out that it’s still rare for large items, such as beds or couches, to be donated. She says local shelters rely on their communities to meet the needs of survivors and their children moving into safe housing.

Donation drives are ongoing until Monday.

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