The Black Dot Campaign
News and social media treatment about domestic violence, victims and survivors often leaves me triggered, or at least stressed out. Last summer, the Black Dot Campaign particularly troubled me. The campaign has since been pulled, but I still think of it often.
Some People Don't Get It
The Black Dot Campaign made me uncomfortable from the start. In my own experience, alerting others to my situation with a controlling, violent person made matters worse almost every time. Screaming or "dotting" for help can be a really unsafe behavior for victims. A lot of safety planning goes into reaching out in a way that will be successful.
Once an abuser sees their hold challenged, they will escalate their behavior. Every failed try at fleeing my ex-husband met acute punishment and sustained increase in control tactics.
I felt the black dot campaign's viral spread was tantamount to judgement and shame of domestic violence victims. It reminds me of all the "Well, why did she stay?" insults hurled against Janay Palmer in 2014. A lot of people have challenged me with the 'why did you stay' condemnation.
Trust The Abused
I saw the black dot as pressure, a rush, to convince victims they should abandon their instincts and carefully laid safety plans. It implies that if someone isn't actively working on getting out of a relationship in a way bystanders can clearly see, so they think they understand, then that person must 'want' to be abused.
Nobody has the right to save anyone else. Intervention in domestic and intimate partner violence carries great risk. Think before you jump into any situation. Every abuse victim has the right to make their own decisions about how and when to ask for help.
I recommend this article for more info on the campaign and critique of it: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/black-dot-campaign-pulled-over-6513532
Rebecca encourages survivors of domestic to speak about their experiences and to lean on each other for support.