The world is getting crazier by the minute. Stories about kidnappings, hostage-takings, mass shootings and the like are almost always on the news.
Although there are authorities who can help victims, there will always be a slight chance that help is not going to come. This is why experts advise people to be knowledgeable on how to save one’s self when captured.
Being taken against one’s will may be due to:
- An attempt to get ransom money.
- A political statement.
- A takeover attempt after the fall of society.
- A government crackdown.
- An organized way to take down a group of people.
- A personal grudge held against the victim.
In an event of an actual abduction, it is important to remember these four things to survive: Try hard to stay alive; help other abductees to stay alive; try to escape when possible; and get as much information as you can. It’s important to remember that the goal is to escape, and not take down the group. (Related: How to spot a sociopath – 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job.)
While being held, the following tips are vital to ensure survival.
- Don’t panic – It’s easier said than done but being composed is essential during these situations. Keeping your mind free of negative thoughts is important to determine the next steps. Refrain from complaining; rather, ask captors for logical requests beneficial in improving your condition. It’s also vital to keep tempers in check, especially if there are other abductees, to work well as a team.
- Remain positive – Surviving the first 30 minutes after an abduction is a milestone in itself. So every time you survive an interrogation, celebrate. Find things to be happy about despite the situation; this can help in keeping your sanity.
- Gather information – While being held hostage, find ways to learn more about the captors. The military uses the SALUTE method which stands for Size (the number of captors); Activity (their pattern of activities); Location (where exactly something happened); Unit (the identity of the group); Time (when a specific event happened); and Equipment (what your captors were wearing, carrying, communicating with, living in, driving, etc.)
- Maintain communication with other victims – Whether you and other abductees meet in person or pass notes, remember to regularly communicate. Find ways to send messages to each other constantly, and be very careful not to be discovered by the captors.
- Give specific jobs to all abductees – An efficient way to gather information is by assigning duties to each abductee. By focusing on their roles, it’s easier to get information that may help the group find ways to escape.
- Share intelligence – Whatever information anyone has, it must be shared within the group. This will help in creating a bigger picture of what is actually happening.
- Leave clues – Some captors prefer being on the move so the authorities will have a hard time tracing them. In this case, leave subtle clues. Whether it’s leaving footprints or marks on any item, what’s important is to let rescuers – or other people – know they’re following the right track.
- Create a routine – Following a routine will make you feel that you have the situation under control.
- Build rapport with captors – Try not to stand out and somehow earn the favor of the captors. By establishing rapport, it will be easier to gather information and ask small favors that can help improve your situation. Getting on their good side will help you stay alive.
- Recognize psychological repercussions – Be very wary of possible mental effects of an abduction.
- Stay out of the way of rescuers – Once you see or hear a rescue attempt is taking place, DO NOT TRY AND HELP the rescuers. More importantly, stay out of their way. There are instances when rescuers are not aware of hostages so try your best to let them know you’re not one with the bad guys.
- Try to escape – If you feel that no rescue is coming, plan and execute an escape.
Bear Grylls, an expert survivalist once said, “You must adopt a survival mentality. Be alert for the signs that your abductor is planning to kill you.” This kind of mentality is what’s going to keep you alive.
Find more tips that will help you survive dangerous situations at Survival.news.