He had learned the signal on TikTok. That’s what the police officer who released her from her kidnapping said later. The young woman was walking with her hand out of the window on an Ohio highway, a fairly simple gesture: the big finger in the palm of the hand, the four fingers on top. Contrary to the vindictive fist. A driver recognized the gesture as a popular distress signal on the social network, called the police, they stopped the car and discovered that a 61-year-old man had kidnapped a 16-year-old girl who had disappeared from her home in North Carolina in the past. two days.
A missing girl from North Carolina was rescued after she signaled for help using a hand gesture she learned on TikTok, police say. A motorist recognized the gesture and called police.https://t.co/r27x0jjXhO
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) November 7, 2021
On The New York Times They explain that this sign was created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF), a group against gender violence, during the confinement. Isolation placed victims in even greater danger and also made it more difficult to ask for help. The signal was invented to alert in video calls or followers on social networks and spread exponentially on TikTok.
As I read the news, I go to the room where my 10-year-old daughter sees some series on a platform of which I ignore everything. I ask him: —Mosquis (not his real name), do you know what this means? And I do the gesture feeling a little old. -Yes help. He answers me very quickly looking through me to try to see what interests him, that series of vampires or singers or both?
Apparently everyone knows. “And do you use it to play?” I ask him. She tells me no, but that she would use it if she is kidnapped.
Sometimes he asks about kidnappings. Also by fires, volcanoes, space rocket accidents or orphanages. That’s why I think she still doesn’t have her real Little Red Riding Hood. This is how the journalist Noemí López Trujillo called in a report in EL PAÍS the women kidnapped, raped and murdered and turned into media cases such as the girls from Alcasser, Diana Quer or Marta del Castillo. The narrative of Little Red Riding Hood, the young woman who goes out alone and is in danger, is what the researcher Nerea Barjola calls sexual terror and is a way of “increasing fear and the perception of threat” among those who can identify with the victim.
This Friday the docuserie premiered on Netflix Where is Martha?. It reconstructs the case of Marta del Castillo, murdered in 2009 and whose body was never found. Of course it was trending topic on Twitter the entire weekend (and also on the platform itself, where it has been the most viewed for days). In the networks were those who analyzed the concatenation of police and judicial rulings, those who knew perfectly how to solve the case, those who demanded revenge and those who thought only about the family. There were also the women who perceived in the umpteenth documentary about a sex crime a way to intimidate them.
I am one of the girls who grew up with the news of Marta del Castillo. Of those who lived his adolescence with the Diana Quer case. And the first years of uni with the case of the Pack.
I am like all women: raised in fear.
– Autumn Mary (@ Mariiaa98_) November 6, 2021
The rage for what is known as true crime -documentaries or narratives based on real crimes- and their implications for women has been analyzed to the core by journalist Noelia Ramírez in her newsletter The strange thing is to live. I copy: “Now that we had begun to understand that those postcards of dark tunnels with lurking rapists were not as common as our brains led us to believe –in Madrid, in 2020, 80% of the reported attacks took place in familiar environments or family members–, I live surrounded by the torments and morals of the new little hoods of true crime ”.
I am glad that the young woman rescued in the United States learned a sign that could be identified. I am glad that my daughter still thinks she will use it in a case as remote as an abduction, a tsunami or a trip to space. That does not yet have its own names.
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