Hacked WiFi hotspots are being deployed by a group of domestic abuse campaigners. Their goal is to deliver the message to as many mobile users as possible and increase the chance of the domestic abuse being reported.
This campaign, called Signal For Help, was developed by a global advertising company called JWT (J. Walter Thompson), and this company, assisted by the charity Bede House, has managed to hijack the smartphones’ routine WiFi search.
Basically, what happened is that many fake WiFi networks have been deployed across the country, and every time someone tried to connect to one, a software was activated that made it appear as if the phone was connected to an abuse victim that’s trying to make contact and raise the alarm. The team behind this project stated that this was done in order to break the silence that usually surrounds the abuse as a subject. The worst thing is that only 16% of those who were connected and saw the video of a woman being attacked actually did something and reported the case to the police.
This method is a new way of trying to reach those in need, and it came along with the changes in the today’s society, as stated by Nick Dunne, the director of Bede House. He also stated that “This project interests us because it explores the potential of modern communication methods to ‘break the silence’ that surrounds domestic abuse and enable more people to find effective help to live safely.”
These modified routers have been placed across the UK, including the stations in Birmingham and London, as well as any other place with thousands of people who are in search of free wifi.
Every time the phone connected to the WiFi, the earlier mentioned video plays and shows a woman trying to make contact and report the abusive partner. After a couple of seconds, her partner enters the room and attacks her, and the video is cut off.
The purpose of the video is to encourage the public to report the abuse if they’re suspecting it. This is highly necessary, because the statistic shows that at least two women are killed by abusive partner per week, and this is only in Wales and England.
The statistics also show that a third of the reported crimes that include violence are directly related to domestic abuse, and even though the police have increased their efforts when it comes to encouraging victims to come forward and report the abuse, it’s still not enough. This is why, this time, the public was targeted and encouraged.
The UK government is also working hard when it comes to tightening domestic violence laws, and this was specially announced by the Prime Minister Theresa May in February this year. The new Domestic Violence and Abuse Act is even directly overseen by her.