Viral TikTok hand gesture signaling domestic violence leads to rescue of missing teen

A TikTok trend that is so popular could save the life of a teenage girl?
On Thursday, a missing 16-year old girl from North Carolina was found unaccounted for in Kentucky. Her adult companion was arrested and charged with unlawful imprisonment.

According to Fox 8 Cleveland, the 911 caller who knew about the hand gesture that became viral on TikTok helped locate the teen.

According to the Laurel County Sheriff's Office, a driver called police to report they passed a vehicle in whose passenger was showing hand signals that indicated they needed help for domestic violence or home invasion.

According to NBC News the Canadian Womens Foundation "first introduced" the hand signal last year. To make the gesture, hold your hand up to someone you want to alert and then tuck your thumb into your palm.

The social video platform TikTok was a great way to spread awareness about the hand gesture.

Business Insider points out a video in which the hand gesture was demonstrated, that has been viewed more than three-and-a-half million times on TikTok.

Police pulled over the car and located the teenager, whose parents had reported her missing on Tuesday. James Herbert Brick was the driver. He had been travelling with the teenager from North Carolina, Ohio, and Kentucky. Police say that the girl tried to alert passersby while riding in Brick's car.

Kentucky police now want to make domestic violence victims aware of the hand gesture.

Brick was also charged with unlawful imprisonment and possession of material showing minor sex performances. Brick was pulled over by police and officers found a photograph of a minor female performing sex on his phone.

The situation could have been worse if it weren't for the TikTok-watching 911 dispatcher.