What is the hand gesture for help on TikTok? Viral signal helps police find missing teen

8 November 2021, 17:17

Holly Madison explains what Cheug Life means on TikTok

How do you signal for help on TikTok? There's a very specific hand gesture exploding on the platform.

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A particular hand gesture that signals help is going viral on TikTok and it has actually helped police find a missing teen.

According to reports, a 16-year-old who had been missing for several days was rescued on Thursday (Nov 4) after she caught the attention of a driver by using the hand gesture that has been going viral on TikTok.

The teen's parents had reported her missing on Tuesday in Asheville, North Carolina. She then travelled with the man through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, and had been trying to get the attention of drivers along the way to alert the authorities.

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What is the hand gesture for help on TikTok?
What is the hand gesture for help on TikTok? Picture: @kittycatdang via TikTok

Laurel County, Kentucky Sheriff's Department confirmed that 61-year-old James Herbert Brick of Cherokee, North Carolina, was arrested for "unlawful imprisonment". The authorities also found sexual images of a teenager on his phone.

"A witness in a car driving behind 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.

What is the hand gesture for help on TikTok?

It's believed that the hand gesture used by the teen was first introduced by the Canadian Women's Foundation last year during the pandemic. With people stuck in their houses because of coronavirus, it became increasingly difficult for people experiencing domestic abuse to reach out for help. So, the gesture was created so that women could safely ask for help.

Although the gesture didn't start on TikTok, several TikTokers are spreading the word about it in case it's ever needed.

To perform the gesture, all you need is one hand. Put your palm to camera and tuck your thumb in so it's resting on your palm. Then, just trap your thumb in your hand.

If you see someone use the Signal for Help, discreetly check in with the person to find out what they need. If you fear they're in immediate danger, contact emergency services.

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