Did you know this hand symbol? I am shocked I did not.

The Signal For Help campaign was created to give women suffering from domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown a safe way to reach out for support. This one-handed hand gesture can be used while on a video call to alert the person they are talking to that they feel threatened. The signal involves holding your hand up to the camera with your thumb tucked into your palm, and then folding your fingers down and trapping your thumb in your fingers.

Isolation, stress, economic anxiety, and joblessness, mixed with the use of alcohol have caused a rise in domestic violence around the world.

Cities throughout the United States are experiencing up to a 30% increase in domestic violence calls

France has reported a 30% rise in reported domestic abuse cases

Cypress and Singapore have seen a third increase in calls to the domestic helplines

Argentina emergency calls to domestic abuse victims have increased by 25%

UK has reported a 700% increase in calls from one of their largest domestic abuse charities.

One in 10 Canadian women said they were very or extremely concerned about the possibility of domestic violence during the pandemic.

If you see anyone use this signal, 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. Also asking yes or no questions is important so they don’t have to vocalize their fears in front of a potential abuser.

Spread the word and consider sharing this post with your friends and colleagues.