How a US kidnapping gave hope in the global fight against domestic violence
Earlier this month, a missing teenage girl was rescued from a car in Kentucky when a passing driver noticed her making a hand gesture that has been popularised on TikTok as a signal of domestic distress.
This was the most high-profile instance of the hand signal’s successful use and has prompted hopeful commentary that the sharing of secret signals on social media could serve as a vital tool against domestic violence.
And so, on Thursday, the UN’s annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence kicked off with renewed hope. This year, the international campaign has a fresh focus on hand signals and how they can be used by women and girls in distress to seek — and gain — crucial help.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation, a non-profit that created the gesture used in the case in Kentucky, in the US — hand up, palm out with the thumb tucked in, and then fingers folded down — in April 2020 believes that signalling is important. To coincide with 16 Days, it has now compiled a guide for people who see the gesture.
Originally published at https://www.opendemocracy.net.