Advice Corner

10 Survival Tips When You Are Held Hostage

10 Survival Tips When You Are Held Hostage. There are a lot of abduction and kidnapping cases happening around the country. Many people, especially women and children live in fear. No matter how safe you are, you can still be a victim. The following tips can help you if you find yourself being held hostage.

1. Attempt To Escape If Possible

If you can escape the initial abduction attempt, your ordeal ends right there. The first few minutes are often the best time to resist since there are probably people around you depending on where you are. However, the first few minutes of an abduction are the most dangerous, and they become more dangerous if you resist.

2. Be Observant

Right from the start, you should try to observe and remember as much as possible in order to help you plan an escape. Predict your abductor’s next moves, or give information to the police to aid in a rescue or to help apprehend and convict the kidnapper. You may not be able to use your eyes – you may be blindfolded, but you can still gather information with your senses of hearing, touch and smell.

3. Try Get The Motive Behind Your Abduction

There are a variety of motivations for abduction, from sexual assault to ransom demands to political leverage. How you interact with your captors, and whether or not you risk an escape, should depend at least partly on your captors’ motivation. If they are holding you for ransom or to negotiate the release of prisoners, you are most likely worth far more to them alive than dead. However, if you’ve been captured by a serial killer or sexual predator, your abductor likely intends to kill you.

4. Keep A Survival Attitude

Be positive and remember, most kidnapping victims survive, the odds are with you. That said, you should prepare yourself for a long captivity. Some hostages have been held for years but they kept a positive attitude, played their cards right and were eventually freed. Take it one day at a time.

5. Be A Good Listener

Care about what your captor has to say. Don’t patronize them, but be empathetic and they’ll feel more comfortable around you and more benevolent toward you. Being a good listener can also help you gather information that would be useful for an escape or to help police apprehend the abductor after you’re freed.

6. Try To Communicate With Other Captives

If you are held with other captives, talk to them as much as is safely possible. If you look out for each other and have others to talk to, your captivity will be easier to handle. You may also be able to plan an effective escape together. Depending on the situation, your communication may have to be covert and if you’re held for a long time you may develop codes and signals.

7. Avoid Insulting Your Abductor

You may think your abductor is a pathetic, disgusting individual. While captives in movies sometimes get away with saying such things, you should keep these thoughts to yourself. In addition, as in most conversations with people you don’t know, politics is a good topic to stay away from, especially if you are being held by terrorists or hostage-takers that are politically motivated.

8. Stay Mentally Active

Think about what you’ll do when you get back home. Hold conversations in your head with friends and loved ones. Do these things consciously and you won’t be going crazy, you’ll be keeping yourself sane. Captivity can be boring and mind-numbing. It’s important to challenge your mind so you can remain sane, but also so you can think rationally about escape.

9. Stay Physically Active

It can be difficult to remain in shape in captivity, especially if you’re restrained, but it’s important to do so if possible. Being in good physical condition can aid in your escape and keep you in good spirits during your captivity. Find ways to exercise, even if it’s just doing jumping jacks, pushups, or even pushing your hands together or stretching.

10. Watch Out For Warning Signs

If your captors decide to kill you, you need to know as soon as possible so that you can plan an escape. If they suddenly stop feeding you, if they treat you more harshly (dehumanizing you), if they suddenly seem desperate or frightened, or if other hostages are being released but your captors don’t appear to intend to release you, be ready to make your best move. If they suddenly stop hiding their identities after wearing masks etc, this is a very strong sign that they are planning to kill you, so escape as quickly as possible.

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