Domestic Abuse and Raising Awareness – the Benefits & Detriments of Social Media
13 October 2015 by Charlotte Knappett
We cannot underestimate the importance of continuing to raise people’s awareness of and understanding of domestic abuse. Further, and in tandem with that, is the importance of safeguards and protective measures to empower those victims to seek the help they need.
A recent campaign with the intention of empowering victims to seek help has now gone viral. However, has that meant that the empowerment has been short lived? Perpetrators will now be aware of the campaign, possibly placing the victim at greater risk.
The idea behind the Black Dot campaign is victims of domestic violence can draw a black dot on their hand as a silent signal. Once widely enough understood, people who see the dot on the victims hands can approach them about the abuse.
The campaign now appears widely known. A recent BBC article reports that the campaign page racked up 40,000 likes, with many of its posts shared even more widely than that.
The anonymous woman who came up with the concept spoke with the BBC and said “I imagined it as a tool to start face-to-face conversations between friends, or with professionals,” she told BBC Trending. “I was basing it on my experiences and I was thinking, how could I prompt people to talk about domestic violence? A black dot is easy to make, and easy to erase. As a female, you could go to the toilet, draw one on with mascara, and then later wipe it out. Being in the centre of your palm, you could close your palm and hide it from view.
“As a way of seeking help, it’s not going to be a solution for everybody. As a victim, you know what triggers your abuser,” she says. “So if it’s not safe to draw a black dot, don’t do it. Just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you’re stupid – you know yourself what is safe and what is not safe.”
If you are a victim of domestic abuse we are here to help. We have a team of specialists spread over each of our offices who are able to provide advice and support in confidentiality. In most cases Legal Aid is available.
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