Stranger danger: Part 2

writer Ash Thomas, Editor in Chief

Tips to keep safe from abduction

The scariest thing about kidnapping is that it never stops; it’s a never ending offense. Unlike the more frequent types of kidnapping, family-related and non-family (which is when the victim knows the abductor), the one popularized by Hollywood is called “stereotypical kidnapping”. It is defined as those in which a victim is kept overnight, transported at least 50 miles, and held for ransom or intended to be kept permanently or killed.

This isn’t the most frequent type of kidnapping but it is the most recognized by viewers of movies, TV shows and books as the situation is almost always completely in the hands of the abductor. According to CNN, only about 60 percent of these kidnappings result in a happy ending.

So what do you do? Anyone can be kidnapped and most abductors are doing it successfully in a way so that they won’t get caught. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Here are a few things you can do to try to prepare and protect yourself, before, during and after.


During: The middle.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent an abduction or kidnapping 100 percent of the time. If you are unfortunate enough to be grabbed, there are still tips to follow that could help you to get out of the situation before things get too drastic.


  1. If you can, run away.

This relates back to what was stated before. If you see an available opportunity to get out of a bad situation (know when the time is right) then book it. One of the biggest tips when it comes to assaults is that if the attacker asks for your purse or your money, don’t hand it to them. Throw it away from you and run. Chances are, they’re more likely to go after the money than you.

If the abductor has a gun and you’re not under their control, still run, preferably in a zigzag, constantly moving pattern. A bullet will only hit you, a running target, four out of 100 times, and even then it probably won’t hit a vital organ.

Remember, if you escape before they can successfully get you where they want you, you’ve won and the situation is over. Think rationally and if you’re not sure you can get away, don’t try.

  1. Make a scene.

Surprisingly, there are a few specific things you should be saying and yelling to get attention from people nearby. Don’t scream, it emboldens an attacker and makes you look more like prey. Yell out descriptions of your attacker or the situation. This can help to throw off possible attackers or make them weary of taking you.

Make it obvious to others around you what’s going on. Unfortunately, most people are often very hesitant to interfere in a hostage or abduction situation. Don’t let this stop you, because in that crowd of cowards there might be someone who does know what to do and can help. Call out to specific people if you can, like that big man in the yellow shirt, because specific demands are more likely to be obeyed and bring someone to action.

  1. Fight back

Fight as if your life depends on it, because it very well might. Your main goal is to get out of their control. Remember, you’re not trying to “win” in a fight against them, you simply want out of their grasp long enough to run away.

Tip: your elbow is the strongest point of your body. If you’re close enough to use it, do so. The majority of assaults are stopped at the first sign of resistance.

Fight dirty. Pick up heavy objects, bite, and aim for sensitive spots if you can. Flailing and using your nails wildly will only cause what the police call “defensive marks” on the attacker, and usually only provides forensic evidence on your dead body.

If you do get away, hit the abductor a few more times to assure that they’re down and you can get away safely.