Universal Sign For Help

The Signal for Help is a single-handed gesture that can be used by an individual to alert others that they feel threatened and need help over a video call, or in-person.

The signal is performed by holding your hand up with your thumb tucked into your palm, then folding your fingers down, symbolically trapping your thumb in your fingers. It was intentionally designed as a single continuous hand movement, rather than a sign held in one position, that could be made easily visible.

On your social media, search #SignalForHelp to browse different video examples on how to use this distress signal. The signal is commonly used in cases of domestic violence, where the victim is discreetly asking that they be checked-in with.

Though this signal can be taught to children and youth in cases such as kidnapping or abduction, it certainly opens the door for further conversations around safety as a whole. Reminding yourself and your child that you will remain judgement-free, calm and will listen to what they have to say if ever they disclose abuse or share concerns about discomfort around certain individuals with you. As we know, child abuse most commonly occurs by someone the child/youth knows, therefore disclosing this information can be very hard for them to do, not wanting the person to get in trouble, or worrying that no one will believe them.