'Say STOP': 17-year-old makes fake Facebook page to help women flee abuse

WION Web Team
Warsaw, Poland Published: Mar 25, 2021, 08:03 PM(IST)

Krysia Paszko Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

As people started sharing the page, Paszko started receiving hundreds of messages through that page, which was shared more than a thousand times

The pandemic not only took lives due to the deadly virus but also put several lives in danger due to extended lockdowns which brought an alarming increase in domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Krysia Paszko, a 17-year-old girl from Poland, saw a similar report about the surge in domestic violence cases in Europe and decided to do her bit in helping such victims.

Also read | US House reauthorises Violence Against Women Act

Quick research made her aware of France's new policy which urged victims to say "Mask 19" at any pharmacy and get immediate and discreet help. Working on the same idea, Paszko created a Facebook page to do her bit.

Paszko sought help from a graphic designer friend and created a Facebook page of a fake cosmetics company.

Also read | 'Men, do better': Londoners hold vigil for Sarah Everard

In this initiative, the victims can ask for natural cosmetics and the volunteers will start monitoring the users who message on the page. As soon as the victim messages 'STOP', the volunteers will call the police for urgent help.

"If you are in quarantine or isolation with a toxic or violent person, send a message," she wrote on her personal Facebook page, along with the link to the page of the fictitious company.

Also read | One in three women have already suffered physical violence

As people started sharing the page, Paszko started receiving hundreds of messages through that page, which was shared more than a thousand times.

The response was so overwhelming that the 17-year-old social worker had to contact Centrum Praw Kobiet (CPK), Poland's largest women's rights centre, for assistance.

Paszko also coded a system that determines the type of assistance needed by the victims whose social media activity is monitored by their abusive partners.

"What surprised me is that you can say nearly everything using the code," she said.

Read in App