PANDEMIC EDITION: Women’s Funding Network Launches “Signal for Help” as Lifeline for Survivors – Ms. Magazine

You knew it would happen, didn’t you?

You thought of all the children, elders, disabled–the pets!–and women of all ages held captive with abusers during Quarantine. Lockdown is a stressful and challenging situation even for those who do not have anger problems, But it is a powder keg just waiting to be lit for those who know only too well how little it takes to light the fuse.

Gone are the blessed destinations that become the refuges the survivor normally inhabits whenever possible. The after school club, sports teams, everything else that a school delivers daily, are all lost to the unlucky captive. For mothers who used to count on school hours to be a sacred time when they could relax a bit, knowing their children were safe for hours on end, lockdown is terrifying.

The unpredictability of the future during lockdown can trigger a profound despair for the abused. One of the signal features of an abusive household is its disruptive randomness. As therapist Judith Hermann writes, such times are long stretches of hyper-aroused boredom punctuated by episodes of sheer terror (Trauma and Recovery).

So, a simple hand symbol, recognizable through a window or car, lets bystanders know that some is wrong, and help is being sought. Get a license number, memorize a description and contact authorities.

It might be your turn to save a life in Quarantine. Please do!

Signal for Help is a single-hand gesture visually and silently displayed to alert family, friends or colleagues that an individual needs help.
— Read on

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