The coronavirus pandemic like any other travesty of this magnitude came with a truckload of problems. Here, we discuss the one that often goes unmentioned: Living with your abuser.
With schools, colleges, and offices shut down to prevent the virus from spreading, people were forced to be inside their houses.
And while it is a luxury to have a roof over your head during such troubling times, one cannot undermine the seriousness of domestic violence, which in worst cases, may even lead to death.
To help people, most of whom happen to be women, The Women’s Funding Network (an umbrella organisation for funds and foundations working in the field of women's empowerment) came up with a hand gesture under the #SignalForHelp campaign.
IF YOU SEE SOMEONE MAKE THIS HAND GESTURE OR YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE USE THIS HAND GESTURE! Share so everyone knows pic.twitter.com/c4pMOq9eah— Sabah 💜 (@MrsSKLodhi93) June 5, 2020
That's correct, a simple, subtle gesture that threatened people can make to get the attention of those on the other side of the video call.
This makes it easier for them to communicate that they are in danger, without saying anything and making it look like they are having a casual conversation.
Let's look at what the gesture actually is:
Step 1: You put your palm in front of the camera.
Step 2: Tuck your thumb inside.
This simple hand gesture was launched early in the COVID-19 pandemic last year to address a worldwide rise in domestic violence and help those suffering while stuck at home. It could also be used in other situations, such as when answering the door. pic.twitter.com/MYHufupDBU— Sascha Mullen 💙 (@SMullenHV) March 13, 2021
With rates of #domesticviolence spiking worldwide, our friends at @womensfunding have launched Signal for Help, a single-hand gesture to use on video calls to alert family/friends/colleagues that someone needs help and would like to be safely checked on. https://t.co/lFWtwaGpa7— A Call to Men (@acalltomen) May 9, 2020
One of the most important videos I’ve come across. The hand gesture that this woman does is the signal for someone experiencing #DomesticViolence. Save and Share it so that someone who needs to use it or someone who sees it can get the help needed. @cdnwomenfdn pic.twitter.com/TyJ3YALbdZ— Nadia (@TheLifeOfNadia) June 15, 2020
Use this hand gesture for Domestic Violence! pic.twitter.com/zErBfIwjxd— Grounddovenari (@Naricutie) July 8, 2020
This hand gesture is called "Signal for help" hand gesture.— Nikunj Rathod (@NikunjRathod_) June 12, 2020
Victims of domestic violence can use this hand gesture via video call to signal that they've been abused.
Please share this message. You may not need it but someone might.#EndDomesticViolencehttps://t.co/VGJIYXpJLt
This will tell the other person that you are in danger and they can then ask for help on your behalf.
This simple but effective technique is really important considering how tough it can be to speak up in a toxic/threatening environment.