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NNEDV and The Allstate Foundation: Creating Change through The Moving Ahead Grant Program

October 28, 2021

Most domestic violence survivors experience financial abuse, including intentional actions to conceal financial information, limit access to assets, reduce accessibility to family finances, and more. Financial abuse is one of the most powerful methods of keeping a person trapped with an abuser, and both the short- and long-term effects of financial abuse can be devastating.

Without access to money or assets, survivors are often unable to obtain safe and affordable housing or support themselves and their children. With realistic fears of homelessness, it is little wonder that survivors sometimes have no choice but to return to an abusive partner.

For survivors who do escape the abuse and survive initially, they often face overwhelming odds in getting to long-term security and safety. Ruined credit scores, sporadic employment histories, and legal issues intentionally caused by an abuser make it extremely difficult to gain independence, safety, and long-term security.

It is essential for advocates at local domestic violence programs to get trained to identify patterns of financial abuse and help survivors move from short-term safety to long-term security and an economically sustainable, independent life.

Since 2005, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and The Allstate Foundation (TAF) have partnered to deliver trainings and information through The Moving Ahead Grant Program. We provide funding to state domestic violence coalitions working with local programs to train advocates in their state, with grant focus areas including matched savings programs, financial education, micro-enterprise, job readiness programs, and more.

The Moving Ahead Grant Program makes a difference for advocates across the country as they help survivors of financial abuse heal and move forward after abuse. We are proud to support these grantees and to share some of their stories below.

From the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV):

The Allstate Foundation was the first corporate funder that truly believed in survivor entrepreneurship. With TAF’s investment in survivors, GCADV has been able to build an entire economic justice program consisting of educational opportunities, member program training, and matched savings funds.

Survivors engaged in our Don’t Knock the Hustle program (supported by The Moving Ahead Grant Program) have leveraged education and funds toward a variety of business and sources of income. Don’t Knock the Hustle financially invests in survivors’ ideas, building trust and confidence. For many survivors, this is the first time where they are truly supported as leaders and financial decision-makers.

From one survivor: “Thanks to this financial workshop, I have learned that I am capable of reaching my dreams, leaving an abusive husband, and loving and celebrating myself for every baby step towards my financial freedom. Now I have the knowledge and the tools to work for my future.”

From the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV):

The Allstate Foundation’s long-term commitment to domestic violence intervention and survivor self-sufficiency is remarkable. ICADV, alongside 50 local domestic violence programs, works collectively to meet the needs of thousands of Hoosier survivors and their families each year. Survivors consistently describe the critical role that flexible funding and financial safety planning have had in their ability to navigate their violent relationships in whatever ways felt most safe.

The Moving Ahead Grant Program supports survivors as they learn relevant financial skills and reach their financial goals. We have used grant funds to assist survivors in securing housing, paying down debt, purchasing or repairing a vehicle, paying for education expenses, taking steps to improve their credit, and more.

One advocate told us: “A client reached out through our crisis line, desperate for help. We addressed their safety needs and scheduled economic sustainability meetings. The client shared that, for the first time in their life, they have money for emergency savings. They never thought budgeting would make the difference in having that little extra instead of falling short.”

From the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence (KCADV):

KCADV is grateful for the years of support our organization has received from The Allstate Foundation. Over the past decade and a half, hundreds of advocates have received training and thousands of survivors in Kentucky have benefitted from The Moving Ahead Grant Program.

With support from grant funds, survivors in Kentucky were able to participate in Moving Ahead workshops, meet with trained advocates to create individualized financial plans, and complete matched savings goals. Many survivors have shared that the knowledge and tools they gained provided them with the confidence they needed to manage their finances and provide for their families.

As one survivor shared: “There is help and there is a way out. You don’t have to stay and suffer, because there are good people out there who are willing to help you get on your feet and be independent.” 

From the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NCESDV):

NCESDV serves immigrant and refugee survivors, so culturally specific supports are essential. Systems around employment, education, financial institutions, and community resources can be confusing and materials are often not available in a survivor’s language. The Moving Ahead Grant Program has been critical as we work with survivors to address the complex barriers they face.

Funding has also been essential in assisting survivors with immediate crisis assistance. As every survivor’s situation is unique, the flexibility of grant funds has been key to meeting needs that other resources can’t provide. When the services that we provide help an individual or family turn their life around, it supports our vision of a community which values all people and shares resources to empower those in need. We appreciate that The Allstate Foundation shares this vision and is committed to supporting all survivors.

From an advocate: “One refugee survivor attended our classes after years of physical and emotional abuse. Through classes funded by The Moving Ahead Grant Program, she gained skills and knowledge to start her own jewelry business, open a bank account, and build her credit to reach her goal of home ownership.”

From the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV):

In our time as a Moving Ahead Grant Program grantee, TCFV has trained more than 3,300 advocates and supported nearly 5,600 survivors with financial empowerment services. We have collaborated with state and national partners on issues like financial abuse, repairing credit, and understanding and reporting identity theft and coerced credit card debt. We have also worked with local programs to translate sections of The Moving Ahead Curriculum into Arabic so we can serve more survivors and share this valuable resource with other grantees.

As one advocate shared with us: “One survivor faced many barriers that complicated her employment status. She attended some of our classes and decided to enroll at a local cosmetology school to obtain her license. The Moving Ahead Grant Program helped her buy school uniforms and supplies, and she is excited for her future career as a certified cosmetologist.”

NNEDV and TAF are honored to build on our sixteen-year partnership, raising awareness about financial abuse and creating change through economic empowerment tools. Learn more: