Today, domestic violence has risen significantly in the world. In quarantine, victims are often detained with abusers without the possibility of seeking help. Polish high school student Krystyna Paszko has opened a Facebook page for the sale of fictitious cosmetics through which she provides assistance to victims of domestic violence. Inspired by a French initiative where victims could report violence in pharmacies by asking for a special mask, the high school student came up with the idea of starting a webshop Rumianki i bratki – naturalne kosmetyki SKLEP
in translation Chamomile and Pansies) where, seemingly buying natural cosmetics, victims will be able to seek psychological and legal assistance provided by the Center for Women’s Rights. A young Polish woman won the European Economic and Social Committee’s award for civic solidarity for her initiative
Although the conversation between ‘customer’ and ‘shop’ takes place seemingly about cosmetics, questions like ‘When did your skin problems start’ and ‘How does your skin react to alcohol’ are codes for questions about violence and abuser. When inquiring about products, victims can seek psychological help. The abuser does not have the opportunity to suspect, even if he sees the conversation. If the victim ‘orders a product’ and leaves an address, it is a signal to send the police.
About 350 people (mostly people under the age of 40) have turned for help since setting up the Facebook page. 10% are men (mostly teenagers). The initiator of the initiative, Krystyna Paszko, is satisfied. By winning this award, the problem of domestic violence was put in focus. Violence with conservative Polish politics (which is considering withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention) is becoming an increasing problem because it is treated as a family conflict, not a crime. The results of a commissioned study on domestic violence in Poland last summer ‘leaked’ to the public and showed that 63% of respondents had experienced domestic violence during their lifetime, most often by father, then mother and husband, which proves that, unfortunately, there is a great need for such initiatives.
Rumianki i bratki – naturalne kosmetyki SKLEP