An American saved by a signal against violence against women

A young woman from Tennessee, USA, escaped kidnapping earlier this week thanks to a hand sign popularized on TikTok.

The sign, which consists of opening the palm of the hand, folding the thumb and then the other fingers over the thumb before closing the hand, has been used by at least two people to get out of a dangerous situation, according to CTV News.

Invented by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the sign was especially popularized by two Montreal sisters who shared it on their social networks. Videos of the two sisters performing the signal have been viewed over 20 million times.

An American saved by a signal against violence against women

At first, they didn’t really believe the sign would spread so quickly, according to Marie-Emmanuelle Genesse, one of the sisters behind the TikTok account that spread the idea.

Often, women who verbalize danger are not believed.

“People, when they see a wave…I don’t know. It’s making its way into their head for [les aider] to believe these women,” she explained.

“We have no words to say how happy we are that [notre signe] really make a difference in people’s lives,” added Marie-Emmanuelle Genesse.

Last week in Tennessee, a woman silently called for help at a convenience store, taking advantage of a short stop after her ex-boyfriend locked her in a vehicle.

Marie-Emmanuelle Genesse, co-owner of a TikTok account that aims to raise awareness about domestic violence, said one of her followers informed her of the incident.

“I think the woman… She was at her brother’s house when her ex picked her up. He would have been violent with her when she told him that she wanted to leave him, ”said the young TikTokeuse.

The man also allegedly threatened to kill the woman, according to the information received.

“He was driving and he had locked all the doors of the vehicle so that she could not escape,” explained Marie-Emmanuelle Genesse.

“They stopped at a gas station, where she was able to get out of the car with him,” she added.

In the convenience store, the woman made the hand sign several times, according to the WKRN television channel. The clerk then reportedly called emergency services.

Convenience store customer Eric Streeval also said the woman whispered “help me” a number of times. He therefore went outside the convenience store where he noted the registration number of the vehicle of the ex-boyfriend.

The police quickly arrived on the scene and began to pursue the vehicle, which had just left. They eventually had to use an electrical energy weapon (Taser gun) to subdue the 31-year-old driver and arrest him.

Eric Streeval’s good reflexes can be explained by his membership in a motorcycle group that helps women trying to flee a situation of domestic violence. He also applauded the courage of the woman. For him, it is important that victims of domestic violence know that they can not only count on the help of their family, but also on that of a stranger, if necessary.

Last fall, the signal was also used by a 16-year-old girl who had been abducted from a car.

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