A missing teenager in the United States was found after using hand signals that went viral on TikTok to show she was in danger.
The girl was reported missing by her parents in North Carolina on Tuesday morning and was spotted inside a car in Kentucky two days later.
The 16-year-old used the gesture designed to help victims of domestic abuse seek help to alert a passing driver.
Authorities say they have arrested a 61-year-old man.
A driver called police after noticing “a passenger in the vehicle making known hand gestures on the social media platform TikTok to represent violence in the home – I need help – domestic violence,” he said in a statement. Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.
The caller noted that the girl “appeared to be in trouble” and was led by an older male.
The girl, who was not named, told officers she traveled through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.
Police then arrested James Herbert Brick, 61, of Cherokee, North Carolina, as he was driving near a Kentucky highway on Thursday afternoon.
The hand gesture is a one-handed sign that someone can use when in trouble, according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
The victim raises their hand with the palm facing out, then sticks the thumb into the hand before closing the fingers over the thumb.
The campaign, called the “signal for help,” took to social media in 2020 during the initial blockades of the pandemic, in an effort to address an increase in domestic violence.
The idea was a way for domestic abuse victims to seek help using a non-verbal cue.
Videos demonstrating the signs also gained momentum in the UK in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s murder, which sparked a debate over women’s safety.
- Domestic abuse
- Social media
- Tic knock
- Young people
- United States
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