Content Warning: This article includes references to intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and other forms of abuse.
The COVID pandemic has impacted everyone in many different ways, and those who are living with domestic violence are at even higher risk. At the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, was concerned about how COVID 19 could affect those trapped at home with their abusers. “We know from our research here and around the world, that when there’s things that are major disruptions like pandemics, like natural disasters, the risk of gender-based violence goes up,” Suzanne Duncan, vice president of philanthropy, explained to CTV News.
The foundation worked with a Toronto advertising agency to launch the Signal For Help campaign and create a “silent way” for victims of intimate partner violence to ask for help when their abusers are present.
The hand gesture is simple: the person tucks their thumb into their palm, then covers the thumb with four fingers. This gesture can convey a message during a video call that they need help but cannot ask. The signal won’t leave an obvious trace the way a text or email might.
The foundation launched the campaign in April 2020, sharing the information on social media and creating a video explaining how to use it. In their example, a woman on a video call displays the hand signal to the camera during a conversation. The gesture soon went viral on social media through TikTok, spreading the ability to help those in need.
Recently, in Kentucky, a motorist contacted authorities to report that they saw an underage girl flash the sign from a car. Global News reports “investigators were able to stop the vehicle as it exited the highway and learned that the teen had been reported missing by her parents from Asheville, N.C. two days earlier.”
“He obviously thought she was waving at individuals and she wasn't,” stated the Deputy in charge of the case. “She was using that signal, the TikTok signal, to signify, 'I'm in distress.’ We don't know what this guy was going to do, but we felt like we saved the young girl's life."
Although in this case the signal was used to alert authorities about a kidnapping and not domestic abuse, Suzanne Duncan from the Canadian Women’s Foundation noted that the wider this signal is shared, the more chance there is to help someone in trouble.
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or abuse at home, ShelterSafe.ca can help. It’s an online resource for women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse. Their website features a clickable map that serves as a quick resource to connect women with the nearest shelter as well as other resources to help them find counselling and support. Much of this support is free and offered to anyone in need.
Domestic Abuse and PTSD
Many survivors of domestic abuse suffer from PTSD and find themselves unable to work as a result. In these cases, the survivors may apply for disability benefits but have their claims rejected by the insurance company. The long term disability lawyers at Share Lawyers have experience in helping people with PTSD get the benefits that they need. If you or someone you care about has been denied their benefits, contact the LTD lawyers at Share Lawyers. We are here to help.
If you have had your claim for long-term disability denied, contact the long-term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long-term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. We have recently settled cases against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.
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A note from our long term disability lawyers
Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.
If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.
Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through
We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.
Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf
Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.
If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.
Our disability claim lawyers fight for your disability insurance claim by relying on our many years of experience to apply the best strategic planning and approach in each case, using the latest technology available. Experience matters, and with Share Lawyers, you are in the best hands with 35 years of success on your side.
In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.