A girl went missing from her home, and her life was saved by a hand signal that had been circulating on TikTok. She was able to notify the people driving behind her that she needed help.
Kentucky police revealed that after a 16-year-old girl went missing, she could discreetly alert someone about the situation. The “Signal for Help” was developed by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and has been lauded.
The hand gesture allows victims facing abuse and danger to tell someone that they need help. Thankfully, the girl who had been kidnapped knew about the life-saving yet straightforward hand signal.
The signal trended on TikTok and became popular during 2020 when many people were stuck at home. Sadly, the time indoors led to an increase in the cases of domestic abuse. The signal allowed many people to ask for help quietly.
This month Officer Gilbert Acciardo, the public affairs officer for the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, stated that it was “probably the best thing” he had seen in his almost 50 years of service.
Paulette Senior, president, and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, explained why the organization saw the need for the signal. She indicated that the 2020 pandemic reality required new ways of communication.
Senior added: “Shelters and support services are doing everything they can to respond to the surge in violence. Signal for help seeks to contribute to these efforts.”
The signal is also simple and easy to remember. Victims place their palms toward the camera and then tuck their thumb inwards onto their palm.
The idea is that they “trap” their thumb, referring to the victims themselves being trapped. The gesture is easy enough to learn and recognize.
Another member of the foundation, Andrea Gunraj, was happy to hear that the signal was able to assist in rescuing a teenager from harm’s way.
She said: “It was really relieving to hear that this young woman was able to do this.” The woman was also glad that people understood what the signal meant.
Many called the girl smart, and others gave recognition to the Canadian Women’s Foundation for creating the hand signal. One netizen said: “Respect to the driver that recognized the hand signals and called the police, they saved that girl’s life.”