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the purplethread encourages self-empowerment & healthy love
through a personal story of dating violence.



I was a sophomore in college when she looked at me and said, “I’m happy you’re here.  I have experience working with women in abusive relationships,” I had to stop myself from falling out of my chair.

I can’t say why during the nine month toxic & euphoric rollercoaster; “abuse” never crossed my mind. 

I can only say that not knowing why it didn’t is the reason something needed to be done.

Maybe if I had been educated on dating violence, I never would have had to experience it.  But would I have listened?  Or would I have rolled my eyes and thought, “I have a backbone.  I’m smart.  That would never happen to me.”

By sharing my story first with a few friends, then with my peers, I realized my story didn’t stand alone.  A club was formed. The stories came pouring in and I watched judgment fly out the window as a group of college students, strangers to each other just minutes before, sat face to face, opened up, laughed, and cried.

i THEN realizED, this isn’t about dating violence.

This is about choosing change and creating good.

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I never thought one of the worst experiences of my life would hand over the wand to do just that. What started as a movement to “heal a heart, remove the 1” affected by relationship violence, grew into the little corner of the world you are visiting this very moment – the purplethread, where we encourage self-empowerment and healthy love through my story.

Just as life happens to us, I believe we can happen to it. We just have to want to. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that purple is the color of good judgment & peace of mind.. :) Each of our stories, just like every purplethread bracelet, is unique. It is the choice within each of us that is the same: choose to matter. Choose to #threadgood.

danielle deZao





We worked with our friends at Threads of Hope to pick our favorite shades of purple. The men, women, and children of the Philippines make them by hand, every single bracelet stitch unique to one another, just like the stories of the people wearing them.

THE journey

Threads of Hope assists the economically oppressed in under-developed countries to establish home enterprises that will provide an income, stability, and great improvement to their lives.

With each bracelet we buy from them, we change their lives a little at a time. With each bracelet you buy from us, you are helping us #threadgood by raising awareness of healthy love.

Bulk packages available for organizations interested in fundraising for non-profits and/or shelters local to their communities.

purplethread bracelet
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I met Danielle as she was not only running the fashion show, but was starting up a social awareness program that was incredibly entrepreneurial in nature and that truly improved the lives of many students as they navigated their way through some of the more harsh realities of relationships early in adult life. She proved herself not only to be an inspirational leader, but extremely hard working, open minded, driven, organized, and yet still one of most pleasant people I've ever met. She blended in quickly with sage professionals and learned quickly how to adapt, adjust, and overcome the challenges I have seen her face. Since then it has been wonderful to see Danielle develop into a sage professional in her own right and I am sure there is much more to come.

Bill Thirsk, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer at Brown University (formerly Marist College)



Fieldstone Middle School
Todd Middle School

Columbia High School
Ichabod Crane High School
Monroe-Woodbury High School
Ramsey High School
Smithtown West High School
Somers High School
Stuyvesant High School
Ursuline High School

Manhattanville College
Marist College
New York Institute of Technology
Pace University
Quinnipiac University
Ramapo College
SUNY New Paltz
Vassar College


Dutchess County Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Awards
Grace Smith House Awards Gala
Hudson Valley Magazine Best Of – College Do-Gooder

abc’s "What Would You Do?" / John Quinones
Dove Men+Care / “Impact” Marketing Meeting
Futures Without Violence - The Y Factor
Hope's Door Symposium
Joyful Heart Foundation
Love Is Not Abuse App Launch / Tim Gunn
Mentors In Violence Prevention
Regional News Network "Ending Domestic Violence: Survivors Share Their Stories"
Scarsdale Women’s Club
Seventeen Magazine
The White House - Round-Table Discussion
Walk a Mile In Her Shoes
White Ribbon Campaign



I will never forget listening to Danielle tell her story and how many lightbulbs that set off in my head.

This organization is extremely near and dear to my heart.  I went through an emotionally abusive relationship from the end of high school into my sophomore year of college.  If it weren't for Danielle and the club she created, I don't know how much longer it would have taken me to remove myself, and discover my self worth.

I want to thank you for sharing your story. I too was in an abusive relationship when I was 17.  Even though it has been two years since we were in a relationship it still affects me some days and I carry it into new relationships.  At the event, I felt like I was able to relate to a lot of the feelings you had.  Thank you for helping me realize that I am not alone and can move past this.

I recently got out of an abusive relationship and I have never identified with someone's story as much as I did with yours.  It comforts me greatly to know that others have felt the exact same way, and gone through the same struggles as I have, and have survived and grown from it as I hope to. As you said, had I known the warning signs, I truly believe that it would not have gone as far as it did.

One thing, in particular, that you mentioned was self-worth, and this is something that I never struggled with before the relationship, but during and since have struggled with greatly.  Even after I realized that I was in this type of relationship, the lack of self worth that I had developed kept me in it.  Again, I cannot thank you enough for creating this and getting a much-needed conversation started. I am so inspired by you!

Danielle, thank you very much for being a guest speaker in my entrepreneurial class last night. They really enjoyed your talk and insights and found it very moving and valuable. 

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