A 16-year-old girl learned a hand gesture on the social media platform TikTok and was able to use the signal to get help. With any signal, you would have to be able to interpret what that signal means, or at least be with someone who does. You might not know that someone is trying to communicate with you or what a specific type of hand gesture means. But, in this case, law enforcement officers say it saved this teens life!
Here’s the back story …
On November 8, 2021, a teenage girl was sitting in a car looking out the window – next to her alleged kidnapper. Can you imagine the horror she must have been feeling at that time?! She couldn’t scream for help. She couldn’t open her door. She couldn’t wave her arms. Nothing.
But, what she could do to try and alert others that she was in danger (without alerting her abductor)—was use one hand to flash a signal toward the window. She did it hoping that someone, anyone, would know what it meant. She opened her hand, tucked her thumb in, bent the remaining four fingers down, and then repeated it over and over again. Is this American Sign Language you might ask? No. It’s a gesture that she learned on TikTok, thanks to the philanthropic organization called the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
The hand signal worked!
A passing motorist noticed the girl flashing hand signs and knew exactly what it meant. The motorist called 911, followed the abductors car, and kept authorities up-to-date by phone. Deputies were able to pull the vehicle over and box it in, so that it could not go anywhere. Thank goodness, it led to the rescue of the teen girl and the arrest of her abductor, James H. Brick, age 61.
Here is a YouTube demonstration of how to do the signal. Please share it with the women and girls in your life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFLZEQFIm7k
Now that the hand signal is more well-known, the hope is that it continues to spread universally. It is now being shared by partner organizations around the world: https://canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help/
You never know when it could save your life or the life of a loved one.