(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams only lends her megawatt celebrity to shine a light on causes she believes in. And one such cause is domestic violence, an issue plaguing women in their most intimate spaces.
“I’ve been fortunate enough not to experience domestic violence, but one in every four women either experience it [in their lifetimes] or know someone who’s been through it,” she told Good Morning America last month inside New York City’s Tictail Market.
Williams, 36, was in the Lower East Side marketplace to help unveil a nearby street mural commissioned by Allstate Foundation Purple Purse. The 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion and the program’s ambassador is partnering with Purple Purse to raise awareness of domestic violence paired with financial abuse.
Purple Purse has helped more than 1.3 million domestic violence survivors, who are also suffering from financial abuse, since 2005. The foundation has invested more than $60 million toward survivor services such as curriculum around asset-building along with job-training and job-readiness programs.
Williams told GMA that after she read these statistics, she wanted to get involved to raise awareness.
“I need to let people know. Like, how do I not know about this?” she asked rhetorically. “I want to be a part of making other people aware of it because we need to bring those numbers down. That’s way too high… that’s shocking.”
It’s a topic that is ever close to Williams’ heart, especially since she’s raising her own young daughter.
The tennis star and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September. Three months later, Williams and Ohanian, 35, wed in an intimate New Orleans ceremony.
“I have a daughter and she could potentially be in a situation like this,” Williams said.
“I want her to be able [to] speak up about it,” she continued. “I want her to know that she doesn’t have to be in this situation. I want her to know there’s a way out.”
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