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While people all over the world are instructed to stay at home to protect themselves and save lives, the sad truth is there are some people who aren’t safe, even in the comfort of their own homes.
Those who are now stuck in isolation with abusive partners are arguably at more risk than ever before, and it is already resulting in fatal consequences.
While it’s difficult to communicate with those who are living with someone who could – or maybe already has – hurt them, one student has come up with an incredible way to enable victims to report their abuse.
The subtle new system comes in the form of a fake natural cosmetics Facebook page, which has been set up in Poland.
Anyone who has suffered, or believes they’re at risk of suffering physical of psychological abuse can visit the ‘Rumianki i bratki – naturalne kosmetyki SKLEP’ Facebook page and send a message enquiring about the body cosmetics the page appears to offer.
Once contacted, the people running the page will do a well-being check and contact the local authorities if necessary, according to local media.
The page was launched after it was reported there has been a surge in the number of domestic violence cases in Poland, as a result of couples and families being trapped at home together during quarantine and social distancing restrictions.
Those stuck at home with their abusers may find it difficult to contact the authorities without alerting their partner, so it’s hoped the fake cosmetic page will give victims a safe space to reach out for help.
The page’s founder, student Krystyna Paszko, said:
If you are in quarantine or isolation with a toxic or violent partner, write to the fictitious shop ‘Rumianki i bratki – naturalne kosmetyki SKLEP’ or send an email to [email protected] with a question about natural cosmetics for the body, and I will start checking on you.
If you place an order and give your address, we will call the police.
Local media reports that the number of domestic violence cases in Poland have risen by 40% since the pandemic began.
Paszko often picks up on subtle messages from those in need of her help, for example one victim who reviewed the false products, writing: ‘Ideal for concealing shadows and redness. I recommend it.’
She says that since launching the page just over a week ago, on April 12, more than 40 victims of domestic violence have reached out for help.
Hopefully this scheme will continue to help those experiencing or at risk of domestic violent.
If you are concerned about a loved one, or about isolating with a perpetrator, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact the Helpline via Refuge’s contact form at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk. To ensure your safety, let them know how to contact you and what time to contact you. In an emergency, always be ready to call 999 if you are in danger.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.
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