Black dot campaign goes viral on Facebook

Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 17:37:11-04

The black dot campaign is going viral on Facebook as we get closer to domestic violence awareness month.

A victim came up with the idea less than a week ago, to get others who cannot verbally ask for help to draw black dots on their hands so others can reach out.

The intentions were to start a conversation, but advocates believe it may not be the best way to get assistance.

Joi Partain is a domestic violence survivor.

”To tell you the truth I loved him to death at the beginning,” said Partain talking about her ex.

She met her attacker Jonathan on an Internet dating site six years ago. After a month, they moved in together.  

“The first time he ever hit me he actually punched me in front of a group of people,” said Partain.

A month later he beat her nearly to death hitting her more than 20 times with two different golf clubs. 24 bones in her body, broken. Her left eye, gone.

“They claim that the golf club force was so bad that it went through the roof of my eye to the roof of my mouth,” said Partain.

That’s when she got help, wishing it had been sooner.

Now with the black dot campaign, she says, it may help raise awareness, but fears attackers may discover the new way to reach out.

Professionals are not trained in what it means either.

“We know about the black dot but the police officer you called might not,” said Partain, “they were genuine and good-hearted, but when it comes down to it, it's not logical.”

But as it grows in popularity, the non-profit Are You Safe thinks at least it will get people talking.

“We need to make sure people know, victim know there is a support system in the community,” said Miriam Velez Valkenburg.

Valkenburg gives free legal services to get victims away from their abusers.

“I've had victims with a broken rib, I've had victims with a broken ear drum,” said Valkenburg.

With one in four women, and one in seven men experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, she says anything that addresses domestic violence will help break the cycle.

On average 20 people are physically abused by their partner every minute.

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