Can a black dot make a mark on DV?

MELANIE WHITING

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Black Dot Campaign encourages survivors of DV to tell their story. Source: Melanie Whiting

A new social media campaign is proving how much impact a little black dot can make in tackling an issue gripping the nation, domestic violence.

Black Dot Campaign started as a Facebook page only two weeks ago but has now accumulated almost 40,000 likes with photos of black dots now cropping up all over social media.

The campaign’s ethos is about enabling domestic violence survivors to open up and tell their story by drawing a black dot symbol on their palm around someone they trust.

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to open up the channels of communication and connect domestic violence survivors to professional help.

Some Australian domestic violence services have come out in support of the campaign’s message but are concerned these types of campaigns are not known to professional services.  

“The safety of women putting black dots on their hands could be really compromised,”

Executive Officer at Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia Karen Willis OAM says people should contact domestic violence services before they start an awareness campaign.

“It’s excellent that people are wanting to participate, raise issues and talk about it,” she said.

“In the first instance they should seek contact with their state, territory or national domestic violence or sexual assault provider who’s experienced in this space.

“For a couple of reasons, it might be what they’re proposing has already been done… or it might be that there’s potentially unintended consequences.”

Other organisations like the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service are aware that abusers may know about the black dot symbol because the campaign has gone viral.

Program Manager at the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service Belinda Cox says perpetrators of domestic violence are likely to closely monitor their partner and could notice the black dot.

“The safety of women putting black dots on their hands could be really compromised,” she said.

The campaign admin could not be reached for comment but has addressed some of the issues raised in a post on the campaign page:

“One DV agency has posted on Twitter that they do not support the campaign. That does not mean we are not working with other agencies,” the post read.

“This campaign is worldwide and we couldn’t immediately reach every single agency in every single country – that does take time.

“This isn’t the solution that will help everyone, if anything it should help people realise what abuse is, how it affects people and how to access help.”

Brisbane Domestic Violence Service recommends the following help lines for those seeking help with this issue:

For those in Australia: 1800 RESPECT, for those in Queensland: DV Connect on 1800 811 811 and for those in Brisbane: Brisbane Domestic Violence Service on 3217 2544

 

 

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