It all happens so fast – one minute you’re walking home in the calm of the night and the next you’re bound and gagged cramped into the back of a speeding vehicle. Being kidnapped is the stuff of horrors for most people. Most times the kidnappers are so good at what they do, it is impossible to escape their snare. The good news is, most victims of kidnapping are released fairly quickly and often unharmed. Whether you get out of a kidnap situation alive largely depends on the decisions you make during this horrible experience. Below are some tips on what to do if you are kidnapped.
The initial period of being taken captive is the most dangerous since you have not established the motive of the kidnappers and they probably have no idea what you’re capable of. Before you figure out what is going on, you need to keep calm and try to take in as much information as possible. How many kidnappers can you see? Are they armed, and with what? If you have been moved, is it possible to determine your new location? Can you hear what the kidnappers are saying? Do they seem well organized and trained? Do you suspect some form of incompetence? This is information that can come in handy later.
Wondering what to do if you are kidnapped and don’t have a watch? You might want to use some ingenuity to keep track of time. For example, you might estimate the time using temperature to tell between day and night. Keeping track of time allows you the luxury of studying the scheduled activities and behavior of your captors. When do they bring you food? Do the guards change shifts? This kind of information gives you an edge when you need to make an intelligent decision.
Try to keep your mind alert and active. Do mental exercises such as reciting the multiplication tables, reconstructing conversations with your loved ones or recollecting famous quotes from books you’ve read. This will help you retain some perspective and keep your mind sharp. This is what to do if you are kidnapped.
You do not want to agitate your captor by talking too much. You need to realize you’re only a means to an end for your captor. You really hold no value to them other than that. It is, therefore, wise to tread carefully. Treat them like royalty and avoid being aggressive. Only speak when you’re spoken to.
If you can move around where you are held, it is important to keep yourself physically active. Do some cardiovascular and strength training. You can do pushups, isometrics, jumping jacks and any other exercise you can do. Working out will help combat depressive feelings and keep your mind alert. Should it come to a point where you must run, being physically fit will come in handy.
If you suffer from a medical condition where you have to keep taking medication, it is important to let your captors know. In a situation where the kidnappers have taken more several people, they might opt to let you go.
People are kidnapped for all sorts of reasons including ransom demands, sexual assault and political leverage. Once you establish the reason for the kidnap, then you’ll be in a better place to determine how dangerous the situation is. If you’ve been abducted for a ransom, then you are worth more to your captors alive. If it is for a political or other nefarious reason, then your life could be in danger. This should inform your decision about escaping.
You’ve probably seen it in the movies – the heroic escapes victims of kidnap make. This is not the time to play hero. If your captors are armed and dangerous, you might just be making a grave mistake. Making a run for it under a hail of bullets only works in Hollywood. If at all you’re going to make a run for it, be smart about it.
If you’ve been held by your captors for some time, you might want to start building rapport with them. Ask for small favors such as a heavier blanket. Keep the requests small and far apart. This way, they’ll get more comfortable and make you seem more human to them with time.
If you have been kidnapped in a group, try not to stand out. Blend in with the rest of the captives. You don’t want to be branded the troublemaker. This is what to do if you are kidnapped.
Keep the goal in mind – you want to go back home t your loved ones. You might be suffering now, but you will eventually be freed. There are kidnap victims who have been held for years and eventually released. Take one day and a time.
Should there be an attempt to rescue you, you need to keep a low profile and follow instructions as given. Avoid getting caught up in the Stockholm syndrome where you think your captors have your best interest at heart.
A rescue attempt is dangerous and you don’t want to get caught up in the ensuing confrontation. Do the following to protect yourself: