Stranger danger: Part 3

Ash Thomas, Editor in Chief

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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”, 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 known in the eyes of viewers of movies, TV shows and books as the situation is almost always completely in the hands of the abductor themselves. 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 at least a few things you can do to try to prepare and protect yourself, before, during and after.



In the horrific case that the abduction was a success on their part, the chance of survival is not lost. There are still more tips to follow in this case, the most dangerous point, the life or death situation. You probably have more skills to help cope and survive than you think.

  1. Stay cautious and calm

The first 30 minutes of an abduction are the most dangerous, since that’s when the offender is on their toes and most anxious. If being transported and confined, do not struggle. It is generally a good idea to put up as much of a fight as possible, but always use common sense. If you are outnumbered and your attackers have potentially deadly weapons, it may be a better idea to just cooperate and try to escape or be rescued later. If you think that you will be held for ransom, meaning your life is possibly not in danger, this is particularly true. Calm yourself mentally and concentrate on surviving.

  1. Don’t stand out, but don’t become less human

It’s been proven that in some cases an attacker is less likely to kill or harm victims if they see them more human than prey. However, if you make them mad or seem troubling to deal with, they may not hesitate in taking you out. Retain a sense of pride but act cooperative. If being held long term, ask for small favors such as blankets or a newspaper. Space these out and keep them small, but it makes your abductor see you as something more than his/her victim. Also, it’s important to keep your mind and body alert. Think a lot, about things such as your home, and have conversations with loved ones in your head. This isn’t making you crazy, this is keeping you sane. If you can, keep fit. Be in the best shape possible, both physically and mentally. While you want to convince him/her that you’re not just a victim, you have to prevent it as well.

  1. Be patient

You have two choices if you want to get out: escape, or wait for someone to rescue you. Both of these require patience. Your best chance of escaping has already passed. Now all you can do is wait for the right moment, and you don’t know when that’ll come. Your abductors probably know what they’re doing and know how to watch you, so it won’t be easy. You’ll need a good plan because if you get caught a second time, the abductor probably won’t be as forgiving.

Now you hope for the best.