AUSTIN -- An annual drive returns to Austin, benefiting victims of domestic violence.
The sixth annual Handbags for Hope Purse Drive began Feb. 20, and will last through March 18.
The Travis County Sheriff's Department and The Texas Advocacy Project say they will be collecting new or gently used purses, which will then be given to children in shelters to give to their moms on Mother's Day.
Each purse will have a tag with Texas Advocacy Project's life-saving legal domestic hotline number and pamphlets on how to get out and be safe from abusive situations at home.
“Last year alone, the project closed over 5,000 cases that impacted the lives of more than 11,000 women and their children. We know access to legal services is critical in helping victims begin the journey to becoming a survivor,” said Executive Director of Texas Advocacy Project Andrea Sloan.
Since Handbags for Hope launched six years ago, the Texas Advocacy Project has collected more than 17,000 bags.
Texas Advocacy Project says when victims call the domestic legal hotline, it is often the first time they have ever spoken with an attorney. They say by stitching the project's number inside the handbags, victims are "armed with one of the strongest tools to break the cycle of domestic violence – access to legal services.”
Purses can be dropped off at the Travis County Sheriff’s Office at 5555 Airport Blvd.