Missing teen girl rescued after using viral TikTok hand gesture for help

03:35 PM Nov 09, 2021 | Team Udayavani |



Kentucky: A 16-year-old girl, who was reported missing was rescued after she used a hand signal learned from TikTok to signal that she was in danger.

A passerby spotted the teen from Kentucky in a car two days after she went missing from North Carolina, USA. The girl made the hand signal, which is a trend on Tik Tok to represent “violence at home – I need help – domestic violence”.

“The complainant noticed a female passenger in the vehicle making hand gestures that are known on the social media platform ‘Tik Tok’ to represent violence at home – I need help – domestic violence,” according to a statement from Laurel County Sheriff John Root. After recognizing what the signals meant, the driver called 911, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Reacting to the call, police arrested 61-year-old James Herbert Brick while he was driving near a Kentucky interstate on Thursday afternoon.


“Deputies say they found a photo of a juvenile female being portrayed in a sexual manner on a phone in Brick’s possession. Brick was charged with unlawful imprisonment and possession of matter showing sex performances by a minor,” the report added.

According to a report by NBC News, Canadian Women’s Foundation had first introduced the hand signal last year. The gesture is made by holding up your hand to a person you’re trying to alert, tucking your thumb into your palm, and then closing your fingers.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sign meant as a way for domestic violence victims to silently show they need help. Advice to use the gesture spread across the world with the help of social media and TikTok helped spread awareness of the hand gesture.


With inputs from


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