A woman was recently rescued from a scary situation in Tennessee. And it’s largely due to a popular hand signal from TikTok. The woman was in a domestic violence situation that could have ended in a very bad way.
This past Sunday, the woman ran into a Tennessee convenience store. She mouthed the word “help” and also gave the hand signal. This signal is crossing your thumb on your palm and covering it with the rest of your fingers. It has been circulated widely on TikTok. Thankfully, the woman knew to use it, and a customer in the store recognized it. The customer was able to report it, ultimately rescuing the woman from her dire situation.
When deputies arrived, the truck was leaving the parking lot, and witnesses informed police. They began pursuit, which lasted 10-15 minutes before the truck crashed. The woman was not injured, and the man was taken into custody.
The customer who noticed the woman is part of a motorcycle group that helps women in domestic violence situations. What perfect timing that he happened to be in the store and knew the signal. He says, “If you see something, say something.”
Hand Signal Origin
The hand signal was invented by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. It found it’s way to TikTok and quickly gained popularity. The signal is called the “Signal for Help.” The Canadian Women’s Foundation created this signal in response to many reports of domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally intended for use on video calls, which were extremely common during quarantine and working from home.
This incident in Tennessee is not the first report of someone being saved by this signal. Last November, a teen in Kentucky was able to silently signal for help and was able to be rescued, thanks to a nearby driver who saw the signal and knew what it meant.
Here’s a demonstration of the hand signal from the Canadian Women’s Foundation TikTok page:
Learn the #SignalForHelp and know what to do when you see it: Link in bio (canadianwomen.org/signal-for-help)♬ original sound - Canadian Women’s Foundation
Thankfully, this story has a good ending, with the woman being rescued and unharmed. But not all stories end like this. Remember, if you see something, SAY SOMETHING. Yes, there’s a chance you could be wrong… but there’s also a chance you could save a life.
While TikTok is full of entertainment, there are also opportunities to learn. And this video and story are a perfect example. Raising awareness for things like this are crucial to helping anyone in times of need.