This is the distress signal to identify gender violence


A signal can become the key to change and save life of the victims of domestic or gender violence. This was the case of a 16-year-old American girl, abducted by a 61-year-old man, who was rescued by the police after a driver recognize the distress signal when they were at a stopped traffic light. Thus, the driver recognized the signal by the broadcast that was made on the social network TikTok.

The importance of knowing the signal

As a result of the recent case of the young American, the body of the Mossos de Esquadra has joined the dissemination campaign to help identify cases of domestic and gender-based violence with a message making the key gesture or signal.

“Knowing this gesture of relief for people in danger is very important. A girl kidnapped in the United States was released thanks to this signal when he was detained in the car and another driver recognized him “, they have affirmed from their official Twitter account.

Thus, the signal consists of show palm of hand, put the thumb in La Palma and lower the fingers on it, as if to catch the thumb. And, likewise, it is a signal that allows you to warn in a discreet way someone who is watching without the aggressor noticing and without leaving a trace.

He was born in confinement

The proposal, initiated by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, created the signal for help against domestic violence in 2020, during lockdown by the pandemic. Thus, the foundation spread the gesture on its social networks to be able to use it as a tool to fight abuse cases to women all over the world, rising during the pandemic by the domestic isolations caused by the covid.

Since then, the video has been spread through social networks such as TikTok with the hashtag #SignalForHelp (signal for help). And so, thanks to the diffusion, people like the driver from the United States were able to recognize the gesture and act quickly in the face of the dangerous situation.

Other methods

In many autonomous communities of Spain a similar tool was used during the months of confinement. But in that case it was a kind of password: “Mask 19”. It was a key that women used in pharmacies so that the protocol of attention to victims of gender violence could be activated.

Thus, the initiative arose in the Canary Islands, and in Catalonia it was extended to many more businesses such as neighborhood stores or other establishments with the label of “Safe place against sexist violence“.

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