If you’ve been on social media or been paying attention to the news recently, you might have seen a news story with pictures that show a black dot on a person’s hand. The Black Dot Campaign, which asks victims of domestic abuse to draw a black dot on their hand to reach out for help, quickly went viral. People all over the world were sharing what the black dot on a hand meant.

However, the main Facebook page for this campaign has been shut down after multiple people voiced concerns that it could do more harm than good. The criticism stems from the argument that if the symbol started to be recognized by perpetrators, it would risk making situations worse for some victims.

Regardless of what you think of The Black Dot Campaign, it’s time that we start talking about domestic violence and speaking out for those who can’t.

Many people think that domestic violence isn’t happening around them. Others think it’s not their place to get involved in someone else’s argument. Before disregarding domestic violence, here are a few staggering statistics that Futures Without Violence lists:

  • Nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced violence by a spouse or boyfriend.
  • Seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
  • On average, almost 500 women are raped or sexually assaulted each day in the United States.

Domestic Violence thrives when we are silent. In order to raise awareness and create change, we must communicate openly about how domestic violence affects our communities, our families, and our lives. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • SOCIAL MEDIA. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) urges people to get involved by using the hashtag #SeeDV. On social media (whether it be Twitter, Facebook, your personal blog, or Instagram), write about a time when you saw domestic violence firsthand. Talk about the effects of domestic violence in your life, your family, your community. Tell why it’s important to you to speak up now.
  • DONATE. There are a few places you can donate for victims of domestic violence. If you donate to the NDVH, funds go toward increasing and improving services for victims and survivors. You can also donate to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Your city might have its own program that you could also give to. Your contribution helps save lives.
  • EDUCATE. Know the signs and symptoms of domestic abuse. If someone you know has recently told you about the abuse they went through, they need a strong ally. Be available to talk and offer to help them find a support group or counseling. They need to know they are not alone.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, meeting with a therapist can be extremely beneficial to help you heal. If you’d like to talk with Reka, you can reach her at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at reka@omaha-counseling.com. Make sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HURTS 025 altered via photopin (license)