The Black Dot Campaign Takes the Internet By Storm (By Identifying Victims of Domestic Violence)

Written by on July 8, 2016 in Internet, Media & Arts with 32 Comments

Black Dot-compressed

By Vandita | We Are Anonymous

A new social media campaign was started in September 2015 to give victims of domestic violence a new way to ask for help. The Black Dot Campaign was an initiative that encouraged women to draw a small black dot on the palm of their hand as a silent plea to alert friends and family that they were domestic abuse victims, and in trouble. Started on Facebook to identify and help the most vulnerable victims of domestic violence, the novel idea for empowering abused women soon went viral.

The campaign was launched by Danielle Tredgett, a domestic violence survivor who faced physical, emotional and sexual abuse for a long time. The campaign’s Facebook page, which has since been taken down, stated on September 8:

The Black Dot Campaign is to enable victims who cannot ask for help verbally to ask for help with a simple black dot and people recognise this and help. This is a campaign to help the most vulnerable victims of Domestic Violence. They simply draw a black dot on their hands and agencies, family, friends, community centres, doctors, hospitals can recognise this person needs help but cannot ask for it.

However, after many users expressed concern that an abuser could see the dot instead of someone in a position to offer help, the organizers tried to clear the air with a lengthy Facebook post:

The original ethos for this campaign was to enable 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. This is an idea, thinking outside of the box, trying to open up the world’s eyes and ears to what is going on in terms of abuse. The idea came from a former domestic violence victim.

Professional bodies have not been advised or trained in the Black Dot, what it symbolises and what it means. When people contact us we open the gates of communication and put them in touch with people who can really help.

Putting such a campaign on Facebook was about raising awareness on a social media platform. 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.

And most importantly SAFETY MUST ALWAYS COME FIRST. If you see a black dot or are approached by someone for help, if safe to do so take them to safety and get them in contact with the relevant agency. Intervention and support should only be done by professionals.


Dina Polkinghorne, executive director of domestic violence prevention organization Project Sanctuary, later shared her opinion in a statement:

The Black Dot Campaign is a very well-meaning idea, but a bad idea nonetheless. The campaign is getting a lot of attention, so abusers may also be aware of it. They might question why their partner would have the dot on their hand. A well-meaning family member could also see the dot, and inadvertently compound the violence.

In her response, Tredgett told BBC that critics had missed the point and that the campaign was never about encouraging victims to post selfies online.

“I imagined it as a tool to start face-to-face conversations between friends, or with professionals. I was basing it on my experiences and I was thinking, how could I prompt people to talk about domestic violence? A black dot is easy to make, and easy to erase. As a female, you could go to the toilet, draw one on with mascara, and then later wipe it out. Being in the centre of your palm, you could close your palm and hide it from view. As a way of seeking help, it’s not going to be a solution for everybody. As a victim, you know what triggers your abuser. So if it’s not safe to draw a black dot, don’t do it. Just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you’re stupid – you know yourself what is safe and what is not safe.”

Despite criticism against the campaign and removal of campaign’s page from Facebook, it shows no signs of slowing. The campaign has now spread and women across the world are drawing black dots on their palms to show they are survivors of abuse and to support the victims.

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  1. Tyler Smith Tyler Smith says:

    Yeah, good call. Cuz domestic abusers never go and stalk their victims facebook accounts. As soon as they see a black dot on their victim’s hand, expect ass whoopings of epic proportions.

    • That was my first thought: yay put a black dot on your hand if you want utter hell at home for the next month or so or whenever they fancy dragging it up in the next hundred years …..

  2. It’s a good idea but Tylet is right about the abuser. They are gonna stop at nothing to find you!

  3. Promote it for man as well . Not only woman go thru domestic violence man do too

  4. Anna Jordan Anna Jordan says:

    Soooo let’s post it so their attackers know what too look for

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I been wondering what that black dot meant! now I just beat the living shit outta her and broke her phone. that’s great I’m glad there’s posts like this.

  6. My wife worked for a domestic violence Shelter for women,23 years. Love her. The women in this world are suffering with the ignorance of men towards women. We are all, equal in God’s eyes. Peace.

  7.' Zed says:

    This article is bugged, can someone please fix this!?

  8. Don’t you think Abusers get on Facebook so now if they see this they will also know what it is for? Abusers learn they are not dumb that is how they can control is by learning watching the news getting on the Internet watching what we watch! It is a Good idea if the Abuser is not an internet junkie,My ex Stalked my FB Page!

  9. Everyone please help these poor defenseless women against these tyrannical, testosterone fueled rapists. Have you dumb bitches herd of this thing called 911? Well let me let you in on the secret! You know those phones you have your ugly fat face buried in right now… You know the things you use to communicate with you friends via text message even when they’re in the same room… Yea that thing in you hand now, well it makes these things called “phone calls”.. Yea crazy right! So all you need to do is dial the numbers 9-1-1 on the dial pad… Careful though I know you bitches aren’t very smart so just look at the number closely because I realize to you a 6 might look a lot like a 9. Then if you did everything right (which is doubtful because otherwise why would you be in this situation right?) then men with guns will show up to haul away your man away.

  10. Savage Mia Savage Mia says:

    Timmys small penis seems to make him angry for some reason ?

  11. Why does something good always get turned into a bad thing

  12. Tom Hol Tom Hol says:

    …women.if you see dot on your palm, divorce asap.

  13. Osa Tonero Osa Tonero says:

    FUCK THAT why not WHITE dot?

  14. She iSheais she doing that black dots matter

  15. Stupid. Unless a child uses this. The adult who can draw it can leave.

  16. Mike Jones Mike Jones says:

    This isn’t real. Lol. Stupid page

  17. Carla Noon Carla Noon says:

    Thanks a lot now my boyfriend won’t stop drawing dots on his hand’s and holding them up to the windows…

  18. I’m a survival. Mine had no shame in hurting me in public or home. I watched people walk around or on by . Bond was a joke he could get out he always had a job or a boss who helped him bond out. I’ve been in shelter but they are hidden so you had to walk blocks to find bus transportation wouldn’t have been a big thing if it wasn’t for my handicapped child. The one thing that stuck in my head was him saying I CAN KILL YOU BEFORE YOU CAN DIAL 911. I had to put my child in hiding daughter my son joined Job Core to get free . Then I could leave not safely because he keep in touch by phone or my job because I worked in the public he could freely come there as long as he didn’t harass me. The Lord knew he would kill me one day . So on a hot afternoon a police officer comes by the house I was living in told me that he had shot and killed himself.

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