Fierce

There’s A Fake Beauty Site For People To Report Domestic Violence While “Shopping”

Since the start of the pandemic, many communities have seen an increase in the amount of domestic violence reports. With more people staying at home under stay-at-home orders, many have been unable to escape their abusers. This has led to an increased need for resources for domestic assault victims.

Well, one teenager has thought up a pretty ingenious way to get that help into the hands of those who need it in a very discreet way.

Teen launches fake beauty site to help victims of domestic violence.

A teenager who was aware of the increase in domestic violence since the start of the pandemic, has taken it into her own hands to help out victims. She’s launched a resource for domestic assault victims disguised as a fake beauty site. The Facebook page called “Rumianki i Bratki” (Chamomiles and Pansies) allows victims to stuck in their homes to seek help.

“I heard about a French initiative, where people go to the pharmacy and ask for a special mask that lets the pharmacist know they are a victim of domestic violence,” Paszko said in an interview with the BBC. “I thought it was a brilliant idea, so I came up with the idea of selling cosmetics.”

Translated from Polish, the description of the Facebook page reads: “Chamomiles and Pansies is a store with natural cosmetics. We will help you with the purchase of the appropriate specifics, as well as with all other problems.” There are a total of nine products listed on the page, and each has a description detailing how the product can help.

The Facebook page offers a variety of services depending on what the victim is comfortable with.

When someone messages Chamomiles and Pansies inquiring about a face cream, they’re assisted by a psychologist posing as a salesperson. Using Facebook Chat, the psychologist is able to collect essential information. The psychologist can then send authorities to visit the home if the domestic abuse victim chooses to place an order and leave an address.

When Paszko first launched the site, she thought it would only reach her friends and extended family, but the BBC reported that more than 350 people have contacted the website. Since the initiative took off, Paszko has enlisted the help of the Center For Women’s Rights, a Polish nonprofit. It currently has over 22,000 likes.

Cases of domestic violence have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic.

More than 10 million women and men experience violence from an intimate partner  every year, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence based in Colorado. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reported a 9%  increase in emergency calls from March through May last year when many states issued lockdown orders. Police departments have reported increases of domestic violence cases around the country including 18% in San Antonio, 22% in Portland and 10% in New York City, according to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

If you are experiencing domestic violence in the United States and need help you can go to TheHotline.org to chat with someone or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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