Everyone should know the International Signal for Help Me

#SignalForHelp Everyone should know this international hand sign for ‘#HelpMe

Perhaps one of the most frightening things is to find yourself in a life-threatening situation with a dangerous person while having no way of notifying others. 

There are numerous stories of people finding ways to hand someone a note that they’re in need of help or making some sort of signal that they are in a bad situation. But would it not be best if we had a universal way to discretely inform others that we’re in danger without the abuser noticing?

There surely is. And it’s the international signal for help me, which people around the world are now learning as it goes viral.

Acceding to the Wikipedia,

The Signal for Help (or the Violence at Home Signal for Help me) is a single-handed gesture that can be used by an individual to alert others that they feel threatened and need help over a video call, or in-person.[1] It was originally created as a tool to combat the rise in domestic violence cases around the world[2] as a result of the self-isolation measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signal for Help - International Sign for Help Me.jpg

The signal is performed by holding your hand up with your thumb tucked into your palm, then folding your fingers down, symbolically trapping your thumb in your fingers. It was intentionally designed as a single continuous hand movement, rather than a sign held in one position, that could be made easily visible.

The Signal for Help campaign was launched by the Canadian Women’s Foundation last April, and has gained traction around the world thanks to the reach of partners such as the Women’s Funding Network, the world’s largest philanthropic network for girls and women. With the coronavirus pandemic getting into full swing, it was clear that people were going to be spending a lot more time on video calls and people in abusive situations were going to be spending a lot more time with their abusers. The Signal for Help initiative was a way to discreetly communicate via video call that you were in a dangerous situation without having to say a word.

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