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Hand signal popularized on TikTok saves missing North Carolina teen

The signal for help. Canadian Women's Foundation)
The signal for help. Canadian Women's Foundation)

A hand signal popularized on TikTok is credited with saving a 16-year-old North Carolina girl who’d been reported missing by her parents two days earlier.

The girl, whose name has not been released, was gesturing through the car window as she was being driven through Ohio against her will. A passing motorist noticed the sign and called 911.

The 61-year-old driver was charged with unlawful imprisonment and faces further charges for possessing child pornography after images were found on his phone.

What is this signal? And where did it originate? Host Robin Young talks to Andrea Gunraj of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the group that pioneered the gesture.

Watch on YouTube.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.