‘Signal for Help’ founders react after hand sign credited with rescue of teen held captive

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LONDON, Ky. (AP/WANE) — Law enforcement officials say a 16-year-old girl held captive by a 61-year-old man was rescued on an interstate highway in Kentucky after another driver noticed her making a silent distress signal with her hand.

The hand sign has been promoted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation for those who are at risk of abuse or violence to safely reach out for help.

The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office says the driver is being held on charges of unlawful imprisonment and possession of material showing a sexual performance by a minor. The girl had been reported missing by her parents in Asheville, North Carolina.

The distress signal promoted on TikTok is to raise your hand showing your palm with your thumb extended, and then tuck your thumb into your palm and lower your fingers over it, as if to trap the thumb.

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