People Are Using #BlackDotCampaign To Talk About A Controversial Domestic Violence Campaign
This grassroots campaign for domestic violence awareness that involves drawing a black dot on your palm went viral, but some see it as controversial and counterproductive.
On Sept. 8, a new domestic violence awareness initiative called the Black Dot Campaign launched on Facebook.
The idea was to give people a way of signaling nonverbally that they're being abused and need help.
People responded by showing their support through drawing black dots on their palms and using the hashtag #BlackDotCampaign.
According to the campaign's Facebook page, it reached more than 2 million people within three days of its launch.
Dr. Drew tweeted his support.
Six days after its launch, Black Dot Campaign asked on Facebook, "If you saw someone with a black dot on their hand, what would you do?"
Some users commented that they'd give support or find help, but others pointed out some of the possible flaws with the campaign.
Later that day, perhaps in response to the comments or maybe because the hoax-debunking website Snopes listed the Black Dot Campaign's claim to help as "false," the campaign posted again to clarify its mission and intent.
But reactions remained mixed, with some people continuing to appreciate the motivation behind the campaign...
...while others called on the campaign to clarify its mission.
And some pointed out the huge obstacles to safety and privacy that victims and survivors face.
Project Sanctuary, an organization that works with victims of domestic violence, explained on Twitter how the campaign could actually make victims' situations worse.
A representative of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) told BuzzFeed Life via email about existing resources for anyone experiencing violence in a relationship.
• Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE); it's available 24/7, is totally confidential, and is completely free.
• Find sexual assault service providers near you using RAINN's database.
• Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours per day, every day of the year, to speak to highly trained expert advocates available to talk confidentially with anyone affected
by domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or, for Deaf callers, 1-800-787-
BuzzFeed Life has reached out to the Black Dot Campaign for comment.
This post has been updated to include comments from Katie Ray-Jones and information about the National Domestic Violence Hotline.