A new hand signal has been created to help alert others domestic violence. (Courtesy Canadian Women’s Foundation)

A new hand signal has been created to help alert others domestic violence. (Courtesy Canadian Women’s Foundation)

VIDEO: This hand signal alerts others to domestic abuse without a word

Palm towards camera, tuck thumb in and wrap fingers around

A new hand signal helps those dealing with domestic abuse let others know without saying a word.

The Signal for Help is as simple as facing your palm to a camera, tucking your thumb towards your palm and closing your fist. With more Canadians staying at home due to the pandemic, partners are getting more face-time, which could mean an increased risk of sexual, verbal and physical abuse.

“Abusers may monitor their [partner’s] devices to ensure that what is going on inside the home is not shared,” Paulette Senior, president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation said in a press release.

“This new reality requires new methods of communication to help those facing gender-based violence. We know that internet and video calling are not readily accessible to some. Shelters and support services are doing everything they can to respond to the surge in violence. Signal for Help seeks to contribute to these efforts.”

READ MORE: Report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Canadian Women’s Foundation created the hand signal to be simple and single-handed, so it can be silently shown to ask for help from friends, family or colleagues. The organization hopes that as the hand signal is shared, fewer partners will suffer in silence.

Those in need can also call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888 to be connected with the Sexual Assault Response Team from the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre who are available 24/7.

ALSO READ: Victoria Sexual Assault Centre remains open for survivors through COVID-19 pandemic


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