Organization Develops Silent 'Signal For Help' For People Facing Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is a very serious issue that oftentimes goes unnoticed in relationships. Many people who undergo a form of domestic violence are scared to speak up and speak out. According to statistics from The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average "nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States."

It's hard to pinpoint domestic abuse from afar.

Flickr | anshul 1

While some women and men may conceal their struggles, it's hard to know whether or not violence is actually happening between the couple. Sometimes, many hide it out of fear that their partner will retaliate even more.

Not only is domestic violence dangerous when it's happening, but it also leaves long-term, lasting impacts on victims.

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Domestic violence victims often need medical care for injuries. There is also evidence that victims of domestic violence experience depression and suicidal behaviors, according to statistics.

With the rise in individuals staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence is also on the rise.

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While everyone is home quarantining with their partners, domestic violence victims lose the possibility of leaving their homes or seeing loved ones. The added stress of not being able to leave home can cause immense chaos in families with domestic abusers.

That's why many people are looking for ways to help domestic violence victims during this time.

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Some people posted "pretend businesses" on Facebook, for women to message in case they were in grave danger during the pandemic and quarantine.

Women in abusive relationships were told to message these businesses saying, "they were interested in buying their handmade soap" or another key phrase. This code phrase alerted people running the Facebook account to reach out and help.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation has also stepped up and wanted to help victims find a way to get help.

While some of their resources are specific to residents of Canada, there are other ways they are helping out domestic violence victims around the world. One way is a resource page on their website. But, they've also found a way to help those who are participating in Zoom and FaceTime calls during quarantine.

The organization has come up with a silent hand signal that can indicate danger.

YouTube | Canadian Women's Foundation

Called the "signal for help," victims raise one hand with their palm facing the camera during a video call. Then, they tuck their thumb and wrap their fingers around the thumb to make a raised fist.

The gesture requires no words and it's not very attention-grabbing.

Unsplash | Tim Gouw

Many domestic violence victims are nervous their partner and abuser will catch on or see them speaking about the abuse. Therefore, this hand signal is perfect for issuing a call for help to those who can assist them.

The organization gives advice on what others can do if they do see the hand signal.

Unsplash | Taylor Grote

Many tips are safeguarded to make sure that if someone is listening, the victim can easily still answer questions. They suggest calling the potential victim and asking easy questions that require a "yes" or "no" answer.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation's website is stocked up with helpful resources and advice.

Unsplash | Toimetaja tõlkebüroo

For those who are going through any type of domestic abuse and violence, understand that you are not alone and there are people out there who can help.

h/t Scary Mommy.

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