Violence at Home #SignalForHelp

"This is probably the best thing I've seen come along in the 48 years I've been a patrol officer."Sheriff's Deputy Gilbert Acciardo


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Thanks for sending the link to the article about the teenager who was rescued because she used a hand signal she learned on TikTok! I had already seen the story on the news over the weekend and immediately spoke to the girls about it.


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I am guessing they already knew about it, but it is those of us who are not on TikTok that need to know about it. It is one of those rare times when I think social media is valuable and, in this case, can be lifesaving.


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As the mother of two girls, my first instinct was to make the girls heads-up in case, G-d forbid, they ever find themselves in a situation where they can't call for help or draw too much attention to themselves. Although I guess that could happen to us, too.


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I understand, but if the person seeing the signal has no idea what it means, then it is worthless. Everyone needs to watch this video. The signal is easy to do – and easy to remember.


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The girl in the story was so lucky as although she was "trapped" in a car, a passing motorist knew what the signal was. Although it seems that the police in the area weren't familiar with it.


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At the risk of repeating myself, that is why everyone needs to watch this video. And, although it was initially developed by the Canadian's Women's Foundation for women facing domestic abuse, the very simple hand signal (with the palm facing out, tuck the thumb into the palm, then cover the thumb with four fingers) can be used by anyone to discreetly ask for help or show they are in distress.


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Well, I give it another hand signal … a big ole thumbs up!
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can’t believe it’s already May, which means hot and humid weather is just around the corner. All I can say is … ugh.


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Not a scientific term, but descriptive nonetheless. And, I hate to break the news to you, but the science of climate change and global warming means summers will keep getting hotter.


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I can remember growing up in New York and summers being hot, but not like now. Of course, it didn’t help that Mommy didn’t run the air conditioning until it got into the 90s.
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Photo by Epiximages on iStock


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I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
  • Be sensitive to those people whose mothers may no longer be with us, especially given how many have been lost to COVID
  • If you have lost a mother, remember they are always with you – in your heart and in your memories
  • Remember Mother’s Day also includes all those “unofficial moms” and “mother figures” who are like second (or replacement) moms
  • And, last but not least, If you’re a mom, try to enjoy the day by doing something for yourself, as today may be the one day you can get away with it


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This year I write about Mother’s Day with a heavy heart and still much raw emotion, as our mom passed in December. My pragmatic side (yes, that’s usually Black’s area although she did sound somewhat warm and fuzzy above) knows that she had been 94 and led a full life, but that really doesn’t make it any less sad or fill the emptiness. But I find myself, when I least expect it and triggered by the most unexpected things, finding comfort in wonderful memories. And although Black’s first bullet point hits too close to home for me, I’ll try my best to focus on the other bullets.

Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

At speaking engagements, Black will often ask, “Who likes math?” followed by, “Who likes money?” As you can imagine, a lot more hands go up in the air for the second question than the first. But imagine if she asked if money made them laugh. It’s probably safe to say no one would say, “Yes.” Although they’d be wrong because people laugh (and learn) at basic, but potentially life-changing, stories about Red and how, when it came to money, she was clueless and intimidated.

It could be the story of Red putting her theater degree to good use as she freaked out about vocabulary. Especially since she was a straight-A student and avid reader who prided herself on her vocabulary. (If words set her off, Black could only imagine the “scene” that would have occurred if she had asked Red this handful of questions.) But Red’s financial crisis did prompt the ever-pragmatic Black to envision the power of a sitcom with entertaining money episodes because … Money IS A Laughing Matter!

Want to read other columns? Here’s a list.