The social isolation measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic are making it more difficult for those who are at risk of abuse or violence to safely reach out for help.
“Signal for Help” is a simple one-handed sign someone can use on a video call. It can help a person silently show they need help and want someone to check in with them in a safe way.
There’s ample evidence that disaster situations can lead to a surge in gender-based violence. Public health directives on home isolation might increase danger and risk for people in abusive relationships.
The Signal for Help is a tool that may help some people, some of the time. Some people do not have the ability to make video calls. Please find other resources, services, and programs below that may be helpful in an unsafe situation at home.
The Signal for Help was launched by the Canadian Women’s Foundation in response to COVID-19, and is now being shared by partner organizations around the world. If you are an organization that would like to launch Signal for Help in your own country or region, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If You See the Signal:
If you see someone use the Signal for Help, check in with the person safely to find out what they need and want you to do.
They may want to tell you what is happening. They may ask you to listen and be there for them. They may ask for help finding services.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 or your local emergency services (police, fire, ambulance).