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NCJ Number: 76472 Find in a Library
Title: Practical Guide to Hostage Survival (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 3 - See NCJ-77155)
Author(s): J M Samuels
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents techniques for hostage/kidnap victims to use in order to survive the captivity situation, plan a successful escape, and aid law enforcement personnel in the capture and prosecution of their abductors.
Abstract: Security advisors should make postkidnap actions an integral part of their protective plans because victims are an invaluable source of evidence who need to hone their powers of observation; because the victims' fear of the unknown, the kidnapper's most potent weapon, must be countered with careful preparation; and because abductors' inability to psychologically dominate their victims reduces their leverage in any negotiation. During the initial capture the victim should decide whether or not to resist, being sure of the plan and realizing resistance is most successful when undertaken in an area affording an escape route or where pursuit will expose the attacker to the danger of apprehension. Furthermore, the hostage must decide whether or not to attempt escape, again realizing that the most opportune times occur immediately upon capture and then again after a period of time has elapsed. During the flight after abduction the captive should listen carefully in order to identify the number, sex, and nationality of the abductors; note odors, vibrations, or other sensations to pinpoint the kidnap route; try to estimate direction, speed, and time in transit; and memorize all details no matter how minor. Once imprisoned, the victim should recognize that unless tightly controlled, fear and despair quickly reduce the ability to resist and to maintain emotional stability. Above all, hostages must maintain self-discipline during their days as captives. For example, captives should attempt to rearrange their surroundings, develop ways of keeping track of time, and designate a portion of the cell as a latrine if denied toilet privileges. The prisoner must also be aware of psychological traps, including the tendency to identify with the kidnapper's goals and the interdependence that develops between captor and captive. Successful escapes occur when the captors become careless in the monotony of their routine and if the captive can avoid rather than confront guards. Specific directions for escapees in urban and rural areas are presented. Upon the captives' return, professional interrogators should debrief the ex-hostages as soon as medically feasible. No references are given.
Index Term(s): Hostage syndromes; Hostages; Kidnapping; Personal Security/Self Protection; Psychological victimization effects; Victim-offender relationships
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