Viral TikTok Hand Gestures for Domestic Abuse Saves Teen in Kentucky

  • A missing teenager was rescued right after a 911 caller reported she utilized hand gestures that point out domestic violence. 
  • The symbols have developed common on TikTok since stories emerged of increasing fees of domestic abuse throughout the pandemic. 
  • The 61-yr-old guy uncovered with the teen was arrested for illegal imprisonment and possession of boy or girl pornography.  

A lacking North Carolina teen was reportedly rescued immediately after she utilised a viral TikTok hand gesture to show she was in hazard and required enable. 

The 16-12 months-old was uncovered in Kentucky on Thursday after a 911 caller reported that a woman passenger driving in the car or truck forward of them was employing the indicators, Fox 8 Cleveland described. According to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Workplace, investigators on the scene identified the driver, 61-calendar year-old Herbert Brick, in possession of a picture of the teenager engaged in sexual acts. 

The teen was first claimed lacking by her moms and dads in Asheville, North Carolina, on Tuesday, in accordance to the report. Investigators found that Brick had driven with the woman to Ohio, though immediately remaining when relations of Brick expressed problem about her age and found out she had been described lacking.  

Brick is currently at the Laurel County Correctional Center, where he was arrested for unlawful imprisonment and posession of material showing sexual activity by a slight, Fox8 documented. 

The alerts — a blend of three hand gestures that express “violence at dwelling,” “I want help,” and “domestic violence” — have unfold on TikTok as a indicates to enable victims of abuse. In 1 common online video, which has much more than 3.5 million sights and 130,000 shares, a woman demonstrates how to subtly use the indicators whilst on a video clip connect with with a good friend. 


Such posts to start with started to circulate in June 2020 in tandem with reviews that located premiums of domestic violence increased globally thanks to coronavirus lockdowns that remaining a lot of victims trapped inside with their abusers. According to the United Nations, cases of domestic abuse increased by upwards of 20% through lockdowns, element of a disturbing pattern the business named a “shadow pandemic.” 

In the US, the heightened amount of abuse is progressively top to death. Previous week, Iowa described that 17 persons died at the arms of domestic violence in 2021, the highest amount the state has noted given that 2010, according to Axios

On TikTok, users have continued to share public service posts in the earlier year displaying how to use the alerts, increasing awareness that is proving very important to helping victims like the North Carolina teenager. 

“I hadn’t observed this right before… the ‘violence at home’ signal,” wrote just one TikTok person in September. “Would only operate if we all know about it. It truly is so essential that you look at and share!”

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