This Is The International Hand Signal For 'Help Me' That Everyone Should Know

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This Is The International Hand Signal For 'Help Me' That Everyone Should Know

A video shared by an Indian restaurant owner has gone viral. It shows the internationally recognised hand signal for 'help me' and states that it can be used in a range of situations whereby it is not possible to vocalise your need for assistance. Such incidents include scenarios involving domestic abuse or situations where someone is being held against their will.

In the video shared by Harjinder Singh Kukreja, a woman, a man, and a girl walking down a hallway with a man, all show the sign as an example of how it can be used.

This signal for help only requires one hand, which makes it easier to perform than the American sign language symbol for 'help', which requires two hands. It involves putting up four fingers and then clasping them in your palm over your thumb.

The symbol was launched by the Canadian Women's Foundation last April, and thanks to women's groups online spreading the message, it has gained widespread traction. It may at present be of even more importance as more and more people, often trapped behind closed doors and only able to communicate through zoom, are even more vulnerable than ever and have no opportunity to spend time away from their abusers.

Police forces around the world have reported that they are now receiving many more calls in relation to domestic violence.

It isn't just domestic violence victims that also may need to reach out. Evidence shows that widespread human-trafficking organisations exist across the globe, and that many people are desperate to escape the individuals and gangs that exploit them and keep them under control through fear and coercion.

CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román of the Women's Foundation told Vogue:

"You have people stuck at home and maybe also someone who is sick with the virus. There are also mounting financial pressures and the general stresses of a pandemic. This all just adds to the escalation, and we really saw a need to start thinking about new tools that abuse victims can use."

She added:

"This symbol is really a way to say 'I see you, I'm going to help you. It's really important that we get this message out not only around the symbol, but we want everyone to understand how they can be of help if they see it."

The foundation is now encouraging more and more people to share the video online. This means that more people can respond and recognise when a person in danger is trying to reach out to them. Learning and sharing this hand-sign far and wide will help spread awareness and possibly even save lives.

[h/t: Upworthy]

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Thinking Humanity: This Is The International Hand Signal For 'Help Me' That Everyone Should Know
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