Woman-Needs-Help signal triggers a rescue in Ukraine.



Nurse Alona Adamovich was told by a breathless girl arriving at a women’s shelter in one of Ukraine’s hotly contested regions that a family was in trouble because of home-invading male soldiers. The mother and two sisters had barricaded themselves in a bedroom and had signaled through a window.

Video: The female hand distress signal is universal these past 15 years and simple to remember.

Click to watch video demonstration. You may not be safe to call out but try this.

The ‘secret’ women-in-distress hand signal that calls for help while defining the nature of the problem—usually abuse by males—was used to alert a passerby who knew one of the hostages’ sisters not in the house and knew where she was. She also knew the location of the nearest women’s shelter because that is where she lived.

Ms. Adamovich is a regional director for RINJ Women. The global NGO runs women’s shelters and rape clinics in Ukraine.


Some women in Ukraine try to live in their own homes

Some women in Ukraine try to live in their own homes, even though the males in their family are gone and soldiers are roaming around everywhere. Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine


It is more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier

“It is more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier.” Photo source supplied.
Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine


Hearing the resident’s alarming story, Alona quickly sprang into action asking for the assistance of one of the guards stationed at the women’s shelter where the organizer was running some training courses.

That guard reached out to two off-duty colleagues of the RINJ security contractor who proceeded to the residence where the women hostages were located and extricated them through a window they completely removed, without being detected, explained a spokesperson for the security contractor.

The mother explained that she overheard the soldiers saying that they would take turns with the girls when it was time to sleep. She also explained that the invaders realized that the woman and her two teen daughters were barricaded in the master bedroom and that the invaders even “offered food saying they would be breaking the door down once sleeping-time arrived “[translated].

“What prompted the quiet retreat and escape to the rear bedroom was a sexual assault on the 13-year old,” Ms. Adamovich explained this morning.

“This is a big problem for homes where the men have been conscripted into the military or various militias and thus leaving the females alone to fend for themselves.  Many of the women in our shelters across the country have their own homes where they do not feel safe,” Alona added.

“Where homes are no longer standing there is no return, but homes that are still livable are occupied by desperate women who have not been evacuated or refused to be evacuated because they have no place to go,” explains a local who came on the line during the interview of Ms. Adamovich.  Local photo supplied in 2021. “This war although not reported in the general media has been continuing for nine years under American control,” added the source.  Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine


“The younger teen has been given a battery of tests including one for HIV which is raging across Ukraine, plus other STDs. She has been given medication to help prevent infection and the-morning-after (Plan B) pill to prevent pregnancy. She is mildly sedated because of her extreme anxiety. She is in a critical care status, and has a broken arm,” said Ms. Adamovich.

“Part of the frustration I feel is that when I asked our security people to go back to the house and remove the invaders, they said “No” because they are under instructions not to attack Ukrainian combatants and “that is who the rapists are. The escapees will soon be housed in a smaller shelter, once their medical treatments are completed, until such time as their home is cleared and thereafter at a time of the mothers’ choosing. The mother is also is in a state of distress but other shelter residents have welcomed her and her daughters warmly and that is helping,” explained the organizer.

End Violence Toward Women

Logo Image coiurtesy RINJ contracted Security Team which is an all-women company based in Europe.