Society 10/11/2021

The international distress gesture you have to make with your hand if you are in danger

The Catalan police encourage the use of this signal after a girl was rescued in the U.S.

2 min
Child abuse and maltreatment hidden by confinement

BarcelonaA simple three-step hand gesture has become an international symbol to denounce a situation of violence. It involves opening the hand and stretching out the fingers -with the palm facing outwards-, then hiding the thumb inside the palm and finally folding the other four fingers over the thumb -in the shape of a fist-. The three actions are the gesture that the Mossos d'Esquadra have encouraged to use against child and adolescent abuse. In a video posted on social networks, the force has explained that it "joins" this global campaign and has called to reproduce this distress signal if you are in danger so that others can alert the police.

Tuit of the Mossos

The gesture has gained notoriety in recent days because it has come to light that police in a Kentucky county in the United States have been able to free a 16-year-old girl who had been kidnapped thanks to this sign. A driver called the police to report that he had seen a girl inside a vehicle making this hand gesture, and he had identified the sign because he remembered that on TikTok they had explained that it was used to report domestic violence. The man said the teenager "appeared to be in danger". After receiving the tip-off, the police were activated: officers were able to stop the vehicle and found that the girl's parents had reported her missing.

This gesture, which has gone around the world, was devised last year in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, when the harshest lockdown meant being locked indoors. A Canadian foundation dedicated to women promoted it so that it could be used by victims of male violence who were forced to live with their aggressor during lockdown: the sign was intended to be used to ask for help. It has since spread and has now enabled the victim of a kidnapping to be freed.

stats