Undercover Facebook beauty page lets Polish women report abuse, plus how to find help locally

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Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images

Victims of physical or psychological abuse are encouraged to visit the 'Rumianki i bratki - naturalne kosmetyki SKLEP' Facebook page and send a message regarding the body cosmetics which they appear to offer.

However, the site's administrators will then check on the sender's wellbeing and contact the local authorities if needed, according to local media.

READ MORE: Muslim women who cover their faces find greater acceptance among coronavirus masks

The page was set up following a reported rise in domestic violence incidents in Poland caused by families being cooped up together during the Coovid-19 lockdown.

As victims could be trapped inside their own homes with their abuser, they may have trouble informing the police of the situation, and it is hoped that the mock cosmetics Facebook page will help.

Fictional cosmetics facebook shop helps victims of

"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  with a question about natural cosmetics for the body, and I will start checking on you," says the page's founder, student Krystyna Paszko."If you place an order and give your address, we will call the police." 

READ MORE: Abuse increases during lockdowns: Women stuck between 2 pandemics, coronavirus and gender-based violence

She also replies to visitors' often cryptic messages that could allude to violence, such as one netizen who commented: "Ideal for concealing shadows and redness. I recommend it." 

According to Krystyna, cases of domestic violence in Poland have risen by 40 percent since the Covid-19 crisis. She also replies to visitors' often cryptic messages that could allude to violence, such as one netizen who commented: "Ideal for concealing shadows and redness. I recommend it." 

READ MORE: Abuse increases during lockdowns: Women stuck between 2 pandemics, coronavirus and gender-based violence

Since being launched on 12th April, the page has attracted 10,000 followers, and over 40 victims of domestic violence have reportedly used it for help.

In South Africa, gender-based violence remains a serious issue. In a previous W24 article, Given Sigauqwe, communications and strategic informations manager at Sonke Gender Justice, expressed that women are stuck between two pandemics, one being the coronavirus and the other, gender-based violence.

He further added, "Now more than ever, we need to check in on each other not only regarding our safety as we navigate our way through the virus, but also ensuring that our loved ones are safe from violence."

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Why French sex workers seeking support from government are unlikely to receive funding

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below: 

Gender-based violence Command Centre: “Please call me” facility: *120*7867# Emergency line: 0800 428 428 

POWA helpline: 0116424345 

SADAG has a WhatsApp counselling line that operates from 9 am to 4 pm: 076 882 2775 

To speak to a SADAG counsellor: 0800 567 567

Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# 

How has lockdown affected you? Share your ideas with us here.

Compiled by Nthabi Nhlapo

Additional information by CEN/ MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA

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