Zippy's Video of the Week: Violence at Home #SignalForHelp

Nov. 9, 2021

A missing girl from Asheville, N.C., was rescued recently from a man holding her prisoner when she waved a hand signal at passing cars. One person recognized it as a signal of distress from videos on TikTok and called 911.

Signal for Help

Created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, this signal is formed by tucking a thumb into a palm and closing the other fingers around it, and means "reach out to me safely." It began during the 2020 COVID quarantine as a method for women in abusive relationships to receive help. While millions have learned about the signal on TikTok and YouTube in the past year, it is still largely unfamiliar.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation cautions that if you see the signal, to first try and understand what the person needs before calling the authorities. If possible, try calling and asking yes or no questions (such as "Would you like me to call 911?") or texting very general questions (such as "How are you doing?").

Learn more from the Canadian Women’s Foundation and watch the video below to see a demonstration of the Signal for Help.