Saved! Kidnapped North Carolina teen used Tiktok hand signals to seek help photo CNET
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Saved! Kidnapped North Carolina teen used Tiktok hand signals to seek help

Nov 16, 2021, 7:15 AM
Nicole Pulido

Nicole Pulido


TIKTOK is one of the most popular social media platforms that is being used by the public. According to research, there’s around 1 billion active users of the platform around the world.

What makes this social media platform very engaging to users is that there are actually thousands of videos that are educational and helpful to viewers.

Just take for example the news of a missing teen that was rescued after using the Tiktok hand signals.

Last week, the news of a 911 call led to a rescue of a missing North Carolina teen in the United States and arrested the man with her during a traffic stop in Kentucky, more than a week after she was reported missing.

The 16-year-old girl, who is from Asheville, North Carolina, was reported missing by her parents on November 2 before being rescued two days later.

She was riding as a passenger in a silver Toyota when a motorist saw her making hand signals seeking for help on the interstate in Kentucky and called the police.

The hand gestures used by the teen have been popularized on TikTok and "represent violence at home – I need help – domestic violence," the sheriff's office said.

A witness in a car driving behind the suspect’s Toyota called 911 upon recognizing the hand signals and told dispatchers the teen appeared to be in "distress."

The Canadian Women's Foundation says an international, universal signal for help in a case of domestic violence or other distress can be made with one hand.

Face your palm forward and with your thumb tucked in, then close your other fingers over your thumb to "trap" it.

The sign does not necessarily mean you must call authorities immediately, the foundation notes, but rather it indicates, reach out to me safely."

The sign has been shared on social media platforms including TikTok, particularly as research has shown the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns have led to an increase in domestic violence cases.

People are advised to use the hand signal discreetly on web cameras or other situations when they cannot freely speak about a dangerous situation or call for help.

"The Signal for Help is a tool that may help some people, some of the time. Some people do not have the ability to make video calls. Please find other resources, services, and programs... that may be helpful in an unsafe situation at home," The Canadian Women's Foundation notes.

Tags: #Tiktok #hand signals # kinapping # NorthCarolina #social media

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