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Domestic violence training inspires hope to support survivors

Domestic violence impacts all of us. If we know the signs, we can help end it. That's why Allstate employee Amanda Negri shares her story – not just for herself, but her customers, her colleagues, and for hope.

woman wearing headset looking concerned with her hand up.

Allstate employees can now take a training course to help identify different types of domestic abuse, and resources to help.

October 24, 2023

Amanda Negri will never forget the time she came face-to-face with a potential domestic violence situation on the job. It was 2017, she was a field adjuster on the National Catastrophe Team, and Hurricane Harvey had made landfall in Texas and Louisiana.

Woman in pink dress standing in front of a golf course.

The Category 4 storm had rammed part of a fence six inches inside a customer's homes. But when Amanda drove up to the house, she hadn't even gotten both feet out of the car before she realized something was amiss.

The tension between the female customer and her male friend, who were standing in the driveway, was palpable.

"He did not want me to talk to her at all, even though she was the named insured. Whenever she tried to chime in, he diminished everything she said," Negri said. "Of course, the town was absolutely devastated. So, I understand the stress that comes with that. But this was different, and it's stuck with me all these years."

Now she can see it might have been financial abuse.

One in four women and one in seven men will experience relationship abuse in their lifetimes. Allstate employees may come across it in their work with customers – or even fellow colleagues.


A chance to help customers and each other

Now there's training available to employees from a partnership between The Allstate Foundation and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The four-part video series covers how to spot the warning signs, the different types of domestic abuse, what a healthy relationship looks like, and resources for people who may need them.

Part one of the training launched in the summer of 2023 with catastrophe employees. Domestic violence can escalate during a catastrophic event, as the risks for more frequent and severe abuse increase with the stress, isolation and financial impact. Now it's available to almost every Allstate employee. Part two, coming later this fall, focuses on specific situations employees are likely to encounter, and how to respond.

Negri was one of the first to sign up for the training. During her four years as a field adjuster, going to people's houses, she said, "I would have appreciated knowing more about how to recognize the signs."

The man at the damaged house in Texas eventually relented, after Negri explained that legally she needed to speak to the policyholder. "I kind of stood my ground with both of them," she said. "Looking back, had I been through the training then, I probably would have tried to de-escalate the tension and been a bit easier on the woman."

A relentless cycle

A few years later, Negri found herself in another domestic violence situation – her own. She was experiencing financial, emotional and verbal abuse from her husband, the father of her now 4-year-old son.

"He never let me talk for myself. And even though I made a majority of the money, he controlled all the finances. It never got physical, but I felt that it might."

She had to get out of the house for her son's sake, she said. So she called the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

"It's a great tool," Negri said. "It's all there online. So much information. And it's got a special button to use if somebody walks in on you. You click it, and it instantly closes it down."

The Hotline's resources helped Negri leave her husband two years ago, and now she does her best to co-parent with him.

Using the past to pave a path forward

Negri, who volunteers at women's shelters and domestic violence nonprofits, is glad to share her life-altering experience if she can help someone else – like a good friend and co-worker.

"My friend was no longer the bright, vibrant person I knew her to be," she said. "I began to see my old self in her, and I didn't like what I saw," she said.

Negri made a point of talking with her friend more, listening to what she was saying about her relationship and how her husband was acting. "She knew what I'd been through with my own marriage – we were that close. I told her that what she was telling me was sounding a lot like my ex-husband."

Her friend is now divorced and trying to heal and rebuild her life.

As for Negri, she focuses on the good: her son.

"I have my baby. I don't have time to think about what I went through. He is the one good thing that came out of all of it. I just focus on him."

If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, help is available 24/7 at the National Domestic Hotline at 800-799-7233. Or visit the Hotline website for more information.

Survivor safety starts with us

Domestic violence can be physical, emotional and financial, and we can all help disrupt the cycle. Join us in supporting The Allstate Foundation's partners as they work to give back the financial freedom every survivor deserves.

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