Cosmetics ‘shop’ with a difference helps victims of domestic violence
A fictitious online shop has been setup to help victims of domestic violence seek help without alerting their abusers during the pandemic lockdown.
People suffering from physical or psychological abuse are encouraged to visit the “shop’s” Facebook page and send a message expressing an interest in the natural body cosmetics, which the store appears to be selling.
In reality, instead of an order for cosmetics the message can outline the abuse. The operators of the website will then start checking on the sender’s wellbeing, and, if need be, alert the police.
There are fears that rates of domestic violence are soaring owing to the pressure-cooker atmosphere of lockdowns.
Trapped inside their own homes victims could also have problems alerting the authorities of their plight.
“If you are in quarantine or isolation with a toxic or violent partner, write to the fictitious shop ‘Rumianki i Bratki naturalne kosmetyki sklep’ or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a question about natural cosmetics for the body, and I will start checking on you” student Krystyna Paszko, the “shop’s” founder, wrote on her Facebook page.
“If you place an order and give your address, we will call the police,” Paszko continued, adding that domestic violence had increased by “40 percent” during the pandemic.
To maintain the façade of the fake shop Paszko has posted on the Facebook page pictures of the various branded creams and balms it pretends to sell.
She also replies to the sometimes cryptic comments, which may refer to physical abuse, posted on the page.
“Ideal for concealing shadows and redness,” one visitor the page wrote. “I recommend it.”
Since going live on April 12, the Facebook page has attracted thousands of followers and over 40 people have turned to it for help.