16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence – Day 12 – Have you seen the Silent Signal for Help?

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought an increase in domestic violence incidents around the world. Without the opportunity for support found through workplaces, or work-friends victims of domestic violence lost a critical opportunity to seek help.  When workplaces switched nearly instantly to virtual offices, it allowed many abusers to listen in and monitor conversations to determine if their victims were seeking help. So, the Canadian Women’s Foundation created the silent Signal for Help.  It is designed to help victims alert others via video or in-person that they feel threatened or need help without using any words. Powerful eh? “The signal is performed by holding your hand up with your thumb tucked into your palm, then folding your fingers down, symbolically trapping your thumb in your fingers. It was intentionally designed as a single continuous hand movement, rather than a sign held in one position, that could be made easily visible”. Keep this in mind the next time you jump in a video call with your colleague or when you pass by strangers in the supermarket – you can save a life.

 References:https://www.worldbank.org/en/work-with-us/hsd/home/signal_for_help#:~:text=The%20signal%20is%20performed%20by,could%20be%20 made%20 easily%20 visible.