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2 Hand Signals We Should Know

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I know, it's sad to think about violence, but it is empowering to know what you can do. Here are two hand signals that you should recognize and actions to take if you see them. It's so important, that it's all I'm sharing in this edition.


ALSO, trust your instincts! If you feel something is odd and/or notice a person trying to signal in any way — even if different from those shown below — do something! It could make all the difference.


These signals are not well known, so please SHARE THIS POST.


By the way, I also saw a video story about a woman calling 911 to order a pizza. Luckily, the 911 operator got it that she needed help. He asked her if the guy was still there. She said: Yes, a large pizza. He asked if she needed medical. She said: No, just pepperoni. He contacted the police.


HAND SIGNAL FOR HELP

The Signal for Help was launched by the Canadian Women’s Foundation in response to the social isolation of COVID-19. It's a simple one-handed sign that was created for video call users without being detected by an abuser. The Signal was not meant to call authorities right away. It was meant for the viewer to check in with the person safely to find out what they wanted you to do next. After some exposure by partner organizations, in the media, and on social networks, it is being used in other situations as well (from inside a car, in a residence window, in public). If you see the signal, consider the circumstances before you act. Watch the one-minute video below to see it used in a video call. Follow this Twitter link for a one minute video showing the signal being used in other situations. https://twitter.com/i/status/1369641737782632456

Signal for Help used in an online situation. Video length: 0:60



HOW TO RESPOND TO SILENT SIGNALS FOR HELP

This can be a delicate situation, even more so with children involved. How you respond depends on the situation, but one thing is clear: Do something!


SAFE FOLLOW UP:

  • Use another form of direct communication that is not likely to be monitored, such as phone, text, or email.

  • Ask yes or no questions in case someone is listening. Examples: Do you want me to call 911? Do you want me to have the police do a welfare check? Do you want me to send someone to your house? Do you want me/us to come over? Do you want me to check on you later?

  • If you know someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local emergency service (police, fire, ambulance).

MY THOUGHTS:

If you are able to follow up and they do not answer your yes or no questions, consider calling 911 or request a welfare check from the police. Always consider the circumstances. If it's from someone you know, you may have more options.


If you see the sign from someone you don't know, such as from inside a car, through a home or office window, or in a public place (at the park, in a shopping mall, on a train, in a crowd, on the sidewalk, etc.): Call 911, let them know what you saw, and provide as many details as you can.


When do you intervene? That's a judgment call. Consider your safety and those that you're trying to help.


I spoke with a local sheriff's deputy, and she offered this reminder:

We can't be everywhere. The public is our eyes and ears... Call us, that's why we're here.


PLEASE WATCH BOTH SHORT VIDEOS.You'll get an idea of how the signal might be used in different situations. You can see them both in an article on iheartintelligence.com.


MORE HERE:

Canadian Women's Foundation page on the hand signal:

https://canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help/

Law Dictionary page on when to request a police welfare check:

https://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-is-a-police-welfare-check/


HUMAN TRAFFICKING SIGNAL FOR HELP

This is the hand signal from a victim of human trafficking. In the video, the hand is held downward with the first and second fingers extended. The hand swivels back and forth quickly. The movement is discreet but obvious. See the previous section on how to respond. When in doubt, call 911 or the emergency number in your area..

Watch the video below to see how the signal is used.


Visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org for more.



Hand Signal Alert for Human Trafficking | Video Length 2:04

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