Signal For Help From Domestic Violence

March 10, 2024

Tips to Save Your Life or To Save Someone Else’s

signal help from domestic violence
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Full disclosure, I am on the Board of Directors of the local domestic violence prevention center (see link below if you want to volunteer or donate). This is an absolutely wonderful organization. It provides essential services to men and women in Southern Rhode Island. One of the many things that I have learned through my work with this group is the signal for help from domestic violence. Even if you never need to use this hand signal yourself, it’s important to know about it just in case you ever need to help someone else.

domestic violence hand signal

True Story

In November of 2021 a teenage girl from NC, who had been reported missing by her parents, was rescued from her abductor when an observant and compassionate motorist noticed her making the hand signal for domestic violence* from the backseat of a passing car. The motorist called police and told them what they observed. Because he called, Kentucky officers set up a roadblock and captured the North Carolina man. The perpetrator was charged with kidnapping and a host of other crimes. As a result, the teen, thanks to the motorist, was safely returned to her parents.

The Facts

My work with the Domestic Violence Resource Center has taught me that domestic violence happens everywhere. Domestic violence happens to people of all races and creeds, all nationalities and socio-economic statuses. It happens to women. It happens to men. In the United States 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) … 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner. Further, 48.4% of both men and women have experienced at least one form of psychological aggression by an intimate partner during their lifetime. The figures are sobering. What that means is that there are a lot of people who could use your help.

signal help from domestic violence

One Thing You Can Do

There is a vast network of help available to victims, but, unfortunately sometimes they have very little opportunity to ask for it due to the ever-present eye of their abusers. So this hand signal is one small way that victims can discreetly ask for help. I kindly ask you to learn this signal, if not for yourself or someone you love, maybe for a passing motorist, like the teen in Kentucky. It could make all the difference.

*People are advised to use the hand signal discreetly on web cameras or other situations when they cannot freely speak about a dangerous situation or call for help.

A Final Thought…

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Learning this hand signal is such a small thing, but it can make a big difference. Want more information? Experiencing domestic violence yourself? Here’s a link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. As always… stay safe out there, my friends and thanks for looking out for the “other guy.”

For other safety-related topics, check out my previous blogs: Fire Safety Checklist For Your Home and Accident Prevention Checklist For Your Home.

I always appreciate your time and your compassion, my friends. Thank you. Marianne

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