TikTok hand signal helps rescue woman from possible kidnapping - Dexerto

TikTok hand signal helps rescue woman from possible kidnapping

Published: 11/Apr/2022 19:33

by Marc Griffin


A Tennessee woman went viral on TikTok after using a hand signal to prevent herself from being kidnapped in a heart-stopping series of events.

Since its meteoric rise in popularity, TikTok users have used the popular app to to spread information on mental health awareness and how to prevent intruders from entering your living quarters, to name a few.

Informing people on various ways to stay safe has become a notable trend, as TikTokers share tips on seeking help if they’re suffering mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation has an account on the app. They contributed to this critical conversation by sharing tips on requesting help when facing domestic violence silently.


Hand Signal on TikTok
Canadian women foundation created the hand signal in 2020.

The foundation created the signal for help campaign, which allows someone in danger or facing abuse to silently alert passersby of their situation and need of assistance by using a hand sign.

Demonstrating the crucial hand signal, the woman in the video pretended to be asking someone for a recipe so that she didn’t alert her abuser. Showing her palm to the camera with her thumb tucked, she then clasped her thumb with four fingers as the fingers rested atop the thumb. The woman in the video immediately recognized the signal and understood that she needed help.

Click here if TikTok doesn’t load

@cdnwomenfdn Learn the #SignalForHelp ♬ original sound – Canadian Women’s Foundation

Following the instructions given in the aforementioned video, a Tennessee woman has since been rescued from possible domestic violence.


Deputies alerted CBS17 about the news and stated that the possible kidnapping call was made after the woman went into a convenience store, saying “she needed help.” When the Deputies responded to the call and made their way to the scene, a pickup truck carrying the woman was seen pulling away.

The chase of the fleeting pickup truck lasted about 15 minutes before the authorities finally caught the driver, who crashed into a creek. Since identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Smith, the driver has been taken into custody with the woman, uninjured, being rescued.

TikTok logo
TikTok has become a place where life-saving information can be readily shared among its users

Thanks to a hand signal created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, many cases of possible kidnappings have been avoided, much like the woman in Tennessee.


If you see someone in public who makes the TikTok hand signal, the foundation asks that you “check-in with the person safely to find out what they need and want you to do.”

Doubling down on the meaning of the hand signal, CWF also wants people to understand that calling law enforcement as soon as possible isn’t recommended and instead should reach out to the person as safe as possible.