The history of kidnapping and hostage-taking is deeply rooted. It is only recently that there has been systematic attempts to understand the effects – both long and short-term on individuals affected and their families. Kidnapping is rampant in many parts of the world, and it is a thriving business in many countries.
Kidnapping is a terrifying experience. However, you possess more personal resources than you might be aware of, to cope with the situation. Remember, you are only of value to the kidnappers when you are alive. It is therefore within their efforts to keep you alive as long as possible, while they advance their pursuit of money from your relatives.
The typical hostage responses of fear, withdrawal and denial are all experienced at different degrees. You might be handled roughly, blindfolded, drugged or even stuffed in the trunk of a car. Whatever the case, cooperate as resisting makes your chances of survival to be slim.
How to Survive as a Hostage
Abductions happen so fast, and the terrorists are nervous and unsure of the next move, highly aggressive and mostly irrational. They subject you in a traumatic psychological moment. Violence could define your stay if you remain passive, while resistance could result in death.
If you are taken hostage, the best defense is passive cooperation. Yes, you might be terrified, but remember to maintain your cool. Organize your thoughts quickly and avoid breakdowns due to panic. Being rational increases your chances of survival. The more time that lapses, the more chances of being released alive.
While under hostage situation, try to establish some understanding and rapport with the captors. Avoid taking stands and listen to their point of view. Listen and observe keenly and do not be quick to engage unless you are required to do the same. Build some relations with fellow captives and with the terrorists. Prepare your mind for a lengthy stay. Be prepared to survive even under inhumane conditions.
Captors may attempt to confuse your sense of time by confiscating your phone and watch and subjecting you to gruesome hygiene standards and inhumane diet. Take note of the characteristics and traits of the captors, their surroundings, contacts, speech and other attributes and keep calm.
The information you learn from their habits and surroundings could help in big time in case you get an opportunity to contact the outside world or when you get a chance to escape. Avoid any forms of resistance or trying to escape as they may be too costly your life.
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