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Photo: improvisation2021 (Shutterstock) The “Signal for Help” is a simple gesture—display your hand, palm out, then close your fingers over your thumb—but it could save your life. Just last week, a 16 year-old girl who was reported missing in North Carolina was rescued in Kentucky after flashing the sign to a passing motorist. According to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office , the unnamed teenager was “making hand gestures that are known on the social media platform ‘Tik Tok’ to represent violence at home—I need help.” A fellow motorist recognized the sign and phoned police, then tailed the car for several miles, relaying information to the authorities. After a traffic stop, police in Kentucky arrested 61 year-old James Brick and charged him with first-degree unlawful imprisonment and a second charge related to possession of material showing a sexual performance by a minor, for material found on his phone. The girl was reunited with her family. The hand signal was created by The Canadian Women’s Foundation at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, and awareness of it has spread on TikTok and other social media platforms. The intention was to give domestic violence victims a way to silently signal distress during a video call in a way that would leave no digital evidence for their abusers to find. Here’s a video dramatization of the signal in action . What to do if someone flashes a distress signal to you If a random passenger flashes the sign at you on a highway, […]