When we’re in danger, we should signal for help. However, it’s not always easy. Sometimes a dangerous situation could escalate if we try to call 911 or scream for help from passersby. Subtilty could make the difference between being rescued or not. Abusers and perpetrators of violence often try to limit their victim’s freedom as much as possible so they can’t escape. Calling 911 may not even be possible in this situation. Fortunately, there are several help signals victims could use to get assistance or support from people around them. For instance, one young woman was saved from a kidnapper because a man understood her hand signal. Here are six codes to save yourself and others from dangerous situations.
6 Subtle Signals For Help
Blind dates or Tinder dates pose an obvious danger: You’re meeting a stranger. These dates could become uncomfortable, creepy, or downright unsafe very quickly. Therefore, the “angel shot” order is going viral. Here’s how it works: If a woman feels unsafe on a date, she should go to the bar and order an angel shot so the bartender can help. A neat angel shot means the bartender should escort the woman to her car. An angel shot on ice means the bartender should call an Uber for her. And an angel shot on lime means the bartender should call the police.
This entire situation can be handled discreetly and it can make the world of a difference for someone on an unsafe date. “There is that social pressure, particularly when you are in a situation that hasn’t turned violent yet, but is making you uncomfortable, it’s always hard to speak up, but I think it’s great that bars are encouraging them to do so and letting them know that they can get help,” said Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape Abuse Incest National Network.
Similarly, some bars in the U.K. have posters in the women’s bathrooms telling patrons to “ask for Angela” at the bar if they feel unsafe. 
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Call 911 and ‘Order Pizza‘
One smart woman reported her abuse by calling 911 and pretending to order a pizza. That way, her abuser didn’t know she was asking for help and she was able to give her address to the authorities. At first, the dispatcher thought she had the wrong number but when she insisted she did not, he realized what was happening and began to ask her yes or no questions. Eventually, the woman was able to be rescued from the situation before the violence escalated.
Ever since this story made headlines in 2019, some support groups teach this strategy to call 911 and order fast food. Similarly, this call is being used to train future dispatchers in that district. But keep in mind that not all dispatchers are trained to look out for this distress call.
“A good dispatcher is going to recognize that this is a person who wants to talk and needs help. That is exactly what happened here,” said Mike Navarre, the chief of police in Oregon, Ohio. “Some dispatchers might hang up on this person, but it’s worth a try give it your best shot. That’s what she did, and it worked out extremely well.” 
The Black Dot on Hand
The Black Dot Campaign proposed a silent signal for help for those suffering from abuse and domestic violence. It’s very simple: Draw a black dot on the palm of one’s hand. People who see the black dot could then offer support for the victims.
The founder explained, “I imagined it as a tool to start face-to-face conversations between friends, or with professionals. I was basing it on my experiences and I was thinking, how could I prompt people to talk about domestic violence? A black dot is easy to make, and easy to erase. As a female, you could go to the toilet, draw one on with mascara, and then later wipe it out. Being in the center of your palm, you could close your palm and hide it from view.”
However, she admitted it’s not a perfect solution.
“As a way of seeking help, it’s not going to be a solution for everybody. As a victim, you know what triggers your abuser. So if it’s not safe to draw a black dot, don’t do it. Just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you’re stupid – you know yourself what is safe and what is not safe.“
One woman used this campaign as inspiration. When she was at the hospital for a consultation, a curtain was drawn between her and her abuser. So the woman took a pen and wrote “help me” to signal to the medical worker examining her. “This campaign gave me the strength and the idea how to ask for help,” she said. “I am now safe somewhere else thanks to that consultant and the black dot campaign.” 
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