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How a black dot can (and can't) help domestic violence survivors

There's a new campaign that advises putting a black dot in the center of your palm.

The Internet is full of some wonderful ideas.

I saw this the other day, and it's one of the smartest things I've ever seen:


GIF from i Genietti.

Thank you, Internet! Good job bringing me an awesome idea!

Then I saw the concept for this campaign. At first I supportively thought, "What a great notion!"

The premise is that if you're really in a bad situation as an abuse victim and can't speak up without endangering yourself, you could put a black dot in the center of your palm and discreetly show it to people in public and someone would presumably get you some help.

But as I sat thinking about how putting a black dot on your palm when you seriously need help would look in practice, some questions surfaced.

1. Would very many people in the general public know what the black dot means to even be able to help? Probably not, but now that awareness is being raised, maybe you could get lucky.

2. Is this even a thing that doctors, police, and other professionals are being trained to recognize as a sign for help? Nope, so imagine being in your direst moment as a domestic violence victim and desperately holding up your black-dotted palm to a very confused police officer and being ignored.

3. Don't abusive people have the Internet, too?And if the black dot trend actually does become well-known, isn't there a chance they'd know what it meant, potentially putting you at risk?

I'm not here to poo-poo all over the well-intended idea. As a domestic violence survivor myself, I'm always happy when the public is discussing how to help people in dire situations.

And the public really does love a heroic secret message caper. Remember the pizza ordering lady? That was really quick thinking.

But I feel a responsibility to say it: The black dot is an extreme long shot (as Snopes also notes), and if you are ever in a situation to consider using the method, please consider some other options below, too, if you have the luxury.

A few things could help if you're in an abusive situation:

1. If you're struggling with an abusive situation now, please call (800) 799-7233 to reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline. In an emergency, of course, dial 911.

2. Download the free Aspire app that doesn't tip off your partner to what it is but helps you set up trusted contacts to send a pre-selected SOS message just by pressing a button: "This is the time we talked about. Please come now."

3. Keep watching for the rollout of this app that helps enforce restraining orders. It's set to first be used starting later this month in Seminole County, Florida, and if it's successful, we may see it in other parts of the country soon. The way it works is if you have a convicted abuser, they will be issued an ankle monitor, and if they get within a predetermined radius of you, the app will alert you and police so that you can get to safety and police can respond sooner. That will hopefully really save a lot of lives, and organizations are working on procuring funding so victims will be able to use smartphone technology in spite of their finances.

What the Black Dot Campaign is doing really well is getting people to talk about this.

To be fair, the Black Dot Campaign shared a message they allegedly received from someone who drew courage from their campaign. She didn't use the black dot, though:



From the Black Dot Campaign Facebook page.

And we are asking this question as a nation because of it — what can domestic abuse survivors do to get help when their backs are against the wall? By all means, keep talking about this.

partner boost

Pacifico and Quiksilver have teamed up to provide a sustainable merch collection and clean beaches

Shared values of sustainability and adventure come together in a beautiful way

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


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