Last year when almost half the world went under lockdown because of the pandemic, surveys and studies came out talking about the steady rise in cases of domestic abuse and violence against women. Shortly after this, many TikTok users began sharing a hand signal women can use to tell others if they are being abused. 


Using this same, very important piece of information, a 16-year-old girl saved herself from her kidnapper and abuser, by gesturing to motorists riding next to her. 

The girl was sitting in the front seat, inside a car when she signaled to the motorists, and thankfully, they immediately recognized the gesture. This led to the police being notified, and ultimately the car being intercepted by them. 


The perpetrator, James Herbert Brick, a 61-year-old man was charged with unlawful imprisonment and possession of sexual material pertaining to a minor. All thanks to the girl’s bravery in taking the initiative to let someone know what she was going through. 

This very important signal consists of holding your palm up, facing the person you want to notify. Then, tucking your thumb inside and finally folding the rest of your fingers over your thumb. 

You can take a look at how to do the gesture here, as well.

The girl was first taken to a hospital and then reunited with her family in Asheville, North Carolina.