A VIDEO is being shared online demonstrating a secret hand signal that shows if a victim of domestic violence is in need of urgent help.
The signal was developed by the Canadian Women's Foundation to give victims a safe way to reach out during the lockdown, along with recommendations for how to respond when the signal is given.
The video shows a woman having a conversation with a friend via video call before discretely acting out the signal as she continues to talk.
She holds up her hand to the camera and folds her thumb into her palm, before folding her fingers over her thumb creating a fist.
The Canadian Women's Foundation website states that the “Signal for Help” is a simple one-handed sign that can help a person silently show they need help and want someone to check in with them in a safe way.
The women's foundation originally shared the clip on Twitter where it has since been retweeted over 600,000 times, with TikTok users also sharing it on the video sharing platform.
Andrea Gunraj, vice-president of public engagement for the Canadian Women's Foundation explained: "If I see this on a call, I would know to go and check in with that person — safely.
"It's just letting them know that 'I'm here for you, I saw you use the signal, I know what that means, and I can help hook you up to support.'"
Andrea told Refinery 29 that emailing, texting, or calling the person back is the best way to approach the situation so that you aren’t on speaker with the conversation being heard.
She also suggests asking them yes or no questions so they don’t have to vocalise their fears in front of a potential abuser.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP?
You don't have to suffer in silence.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or someone you know is there are groups that can help.
Refuge runs a free, 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247.
You can also visit the website or contact Women’s Aid.
In the UK,researchers from the Counting Dead Women Project say that 14 women and two children had been killed in just the first three weeks of lockdown.
Meanwhile, calls to domestic abuse hotlines have risen by 49 per cent during the same period, as desperate victims seek help.
The UK government has launched a new public awareness campaign, #YouAreNotAlone, aiming to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time.
Members of the public are asked to show their solidarity and support for those who may be suffering, by sharing a photo of a heart on their palm.
FOR support, call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or go to nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
In other real life news we shared how a man, 56, who dumped in a box at a railway station as a baby finds he has 6 siblings he never knew about.
Plus a mum reveals how coronavirus masked her newborn son’s deadly heart defect –and he needed open heart surgery at 4 weeks.
And Love Island’s Malin Andersson reveals abusive ex threw bottles at her face, beat her & made her feel she’d lost her mind.
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