Like us on facebook →
Home is where the heart is as they say. It should be the safest place in the world for a family. Unfortunately, for many, the specter of domestic violence still looms like a black cloud over their family, even today.
Now, an english woman, and former victim of spousal abuse has developed a campaign to both raise awareness for this serious problem, and to offer victims a way of communicating their plights to authorities.
“The Black Dot Campaign” is a simple enough solution to a profoundly disturbing crime. Basically, the victim of domestic abuse simply draws a black dot on the palm of their hand to notify others that they are in danger. It also means that they abuser may be watching or listening and that openly discussing their situation may put themselves and others at further risk.
The official Facebook statement for the Black Dot Campaign says:
“The original ethos for this campaign was to enable a victim to put a dot on their hand around someone they trusted to enable a conversation to start, so they could open that door and hopefully start a process of seeking professional help. This is an idea, thinking outside of the box, trying to open up the world’s eyes and ears to what is going on in terms of abuse. The idea came from a former domestic violence victim. Professional bodies have not been advised or trained in the Black Dot, what it symbolises and what it means. When people contact us we open the gates of communication and put them in touch with people who can really help. Putting such a campaign on Facebook was about raising awareness on a social media platform. This isn’t the solution that will help everyone, if anything it should help people realise what abuse is, how it affects people and how to access help. Most importantly SAFETY MUST ALWAYS COME FIRST. If you see a black dot or are approached by someone for help, if safe to do so take them to safety and get them in contact with the relevant agency. Intervention and support should only be done by professionals.”
It is a fascinating idea, but officials have cautioned that it has not yet been acknowledged by first responders, medical care providers, and social workers as an “official” program. As many professionals do not yet know about this practice and have not been trained to recognize the sign, they may not readily pick up on the signal. It is not advised that victims rely solely on this practice to get the attention of people who could be best qualified to intervene.
It has, however begun to make significant inroads in social media, and this may be where it can be most beneficial. If extended family members and close friends are able to be reached by this communication, they may be able to contact authorities on the victim’s behalf, although it should be stressed that engaging an abuser directly is absolutely not recommended. A person given to violence should be dealt with by trained professionals only.
Do you know of someone who has used The Black Dot to ask for help? Did it work? Please share your experiences with us here. And please, let’s not let this crime continue in silence.