The Canadian Women’s Foundation, one of the IMPACTS Project partners, has announced its support for Signal for Help, an online initiative to assist those experiencing violence as a result of home isolation during the pandemic. Strict isolating measures have led people in Canada to increasingly turn to video calls to stay connected. Signal for Help is a simple single-hand gesture that can be visually and silently displayed during video calls, to alert family, friends, or colleagues that an individual needs help and that they would like someone to check in safely with them.
There’s ample evidence that disaster situations often lead to a surge in violence that women, girls, and trans and non-binary people are at highest risk of experiencing. This includes intimate partner violence, emotional abuse, and sexual violence. The COVID-19 pandemic is no different: other countries have already seen dramatic increases in gender-based violence, and Canada is bracing for a surge in the coming weeks and months.
To learn more about what you can do if you see someone use the signal please, or to download and share the signal, visit: canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help. There you will find tips on checking in safely and ways to find support resources in your community, and a downloadable toolkit of social media posts.