A Waukesha County domestic violence help center is denouncing a social media trend that has lead to an increase in prank calls.
The Women's Center serves women, men and children survivors of domestic violence, abuse, trafficking and more. The center says a new trend on social media app TikTok is targeting agencies like them and "threatening" its work.
The center posted on Facebook stating that the center had received over 100 prank calls to its 24-hour hotline. According to the center, these prank calls make it difficult for its advocates to respond to real crisis calls.
The trend showcases users recording videos of themselves calling "feminist numbers" and asking for the man in charge. The center says it has been target of similar calls over the last month.
"Our 24-Hour hotline serves as a critical lifeline for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence has significantly increased and made it much harder for victims to reach out for help due to being trapped at home with their abuser," wrote the center. "In a time when victims are at high risk and any opportunity to reach out is essential, these 'pranks' are especially threatening to our work."
The center says if a TikTok user sees a video of the prank, report it immediately and email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask them to stop the trend.