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2,000 Handbags Donated to Survivors in Domestic Violence Shelters and Sexual Assault Examination Rooms
AUSTIN, TX February 20, 2019 – A woman’s handbag, an everyday catchall and symbol of financial empowerment, may also serve as a life-saving utility to those experiencing power-based abuse. Texas Advocacy Project launches their Handbags for Hope campaign on February 20th and concludes April 5th. Handbags for Hope serves as a vehicle to lead survivors to safety, free legal services, and new beginnings as they transition out of violent situations and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.
Texas Advocacy Project, along with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, needs your donations of new or gently used handbags to support this community outreach effort. For a list of donation sites or to plan your own drive visit www.TexasAdvocacyProject.org/handbags-hope.
More than 41,000 handbags have been distributed to shelters across Texas since the campaign launched 12 years ago. Each bag is fitted with the following:
- A discreet tag that lists TAP’s toll-free legal line 1-800-374-HOPE
- Safety planning information
- Allstate Foundation’s Financial Empowerment Planning Guide
New for 2019, Handbags for Hope will distributed to hospitals, making them available to survivors of rape. After a survivor goes through a rape exam they often have to leave behind clothing and belongings. This can be an extremely dehumanizing experience. Leaving the hospital with your belongings in a handbag versus a plastic bag, will not only give some dignity back, it will also give hope through the agency services information.
Candace Lambert, a current volunteer and past client of TAP, stated, “I love that the idea behind Handbags for Hope is to empower women. I know firsthand that when all seemed hopeless, I found hope in knowing that Texas Advocacy Project was there to assist me. They guided me in protecting myself and my children.”
According to Executive Director Heather Bellino, “When victims call our legal line it is often the first time they have ever spoken with an attorney to learn that they have rights and that they can get protection and safety. It is a life-altering moment. Handbags for Hope arms them with one of the strongest tools to break the cycle of violence – access to legal services.”
Texas Advocacy Project Particulars
Last year TAP served 4,313 clients, impacting the lives of nearly 10,661 women and their children. Their mission is to prevent domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking throughout Texas through FREE legal services, access to the justice system, and education. Details at www.TexasAdvocacyProject.org. If you need help, call 1-800-374-HOPE.
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