There’s a new social media movement that’s not only taking over our feeds, but it’s gone completely viral, spanning different corners of the internet.
It’s been labelled as the Black Dot Campaign, and it has a very important message and a very moving purpose.
This is not a campaign that has been set up or recognised by any domestic violence charities, but it is instead a social media movement seeking to help those that are trapped in abusive relationships and aren’t easily able to seek help.
The official Facebook page describes it as a way to ‘enable victims who can not ask for help verbally’ by drawing a ‘simple black dot’ on their hand. The campaign hopes to raise awareness of the frequency of domestic violence cases, whilst also bringing the black dot system to a wider audience to help others to recognise it as means to help victims to seek the professional support they might need.
Domestic violence is, of course, a major world issue that affects both men and women. According to the Black Dot’s YouTube video, 1 women in every 4 experience domestic violence. A follow-up video is dedicated to male victims of DV, showing solidarity that they can just as easily be victims of the crime too.
The video encourages people to share the page, as well as uploading a photograph of a black dot to show support to victims across the internet.
Just six days after the campaign’s launch, an astounding 4.8 million people had been reached on Facebook. According to the Huffington Post, the campaign was launched by a domestic violence survivor who experienced both physical and mental abuse. She was inspired to launch the campaign, ‘as so many people suffer in silence because they cannot ask for help.’
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One DV sufferer shared her experience of using the black dot: ‘Hi I just wanted to say thank you, this idea is amazing. I’m in a DV relationship now and I have social services involved.
‘I know I can’t ask for help and when ever anyone comes near me he’s there, next to me, intimidating me. I saw this campaign, took a picture on my phone and sent it to my social workers phone whilst putting the kids to bed then immediately deleted the message in case he saw.
‘She came round today and said hi XXXXX we need to update your records about the black dot, you know your health, would you like me to do that today. I replied yes. She went outside for one minute and then came back in, 5 minutes later the police arrived and took him away. Thank you.’
The campaign’s page wants to point out that ‘professional bodies have not been advised or trained in the Black Dot, what it symbolises and what it means’ but that the initiative had the intention of enabling ‘a victim to put a dot on their hand around someone they trusted to enable a conversation to start, so they could open that door and hopefully start a process of seeking professional help.’
They also want ‘to open up the world’s eyes and ears to what is going on in terms of abuse.’