What is the viral hand gesture on Tik Tok that helped save a teen’s life?

11/11/2021

On TikTok, a hand motion that means "help" has gone viral, and it has recently assisted authorities in finding a missing teen.

According to reports, a 16-year-old girl who had been missing for many days was rescued, on Thursday (Nov 4). After using the hand gesture that has gone viral on TikTok to attract the attention of another vehicle.

In Asheville, North Carolina, the teen's parents reported her missing. She then travelled with the man across North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, attempting to attract the attention of passing motorists in order to alert the authorities.

"A witness in a car driving behind James Herbert Brick's Toyota called 911 upon recognizing the hand signals and told dispatchers the teen appeared to be in 'distress'," Kentucky Sheriff's Department told USA Today. Brick, 61, was then arrested for “unlawful imprisonment”.

So what is the hand gesture for help?

The teen's hand gesture is thought to have been first introduced by the Canadian Women's Foundation during the pandemic last year. With people trapped in their homes due to the coronavirus, it became increasingly difficult for victims of domestic abuse to seek help. As a result, the gesture was established so that women may beg for help without fear of being punished.

Despite the fact that the gesture did not begin on TikTok, many users are spreading the word in case it is ever needed/ able to be recognised when used.

All you need is one hand to make the gesture. Place your palm facing the camera and tuck your thumb into your palm. Then trap your thumb in your hand after that.

If you need an example @Jackienpadilla on TikTok has a great explanation below:

Remember that if you see this signal to be subtle about it. Ask those who have used the signal and ask what they wish for you to do further - Be safe!