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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77546 Find in a Library
Title: Preparing for Terrorist Victimization (From Political Terrorism and Business - The Threat and Response, P 113-122, 1979, Yonah Alexander and Robert A Kilmarx, ed. - See NCJ-77538)
Author(s): F M Ochberg
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An overview of research on general and individual adaptations to stress is provided, followed by discussions of coping mechanisms, preparation and prevention strategies, and rehabilitative concerns regarding terrorist victimization.
Abstract: Studies have shown general responses to stress to include the sequential stages of alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Any person involved in a prolonged threatening situation, such as a terrorist siege, risks experiencing these three stages of stress. Within the context of the general response to stress, each individual has a personal behavioral coping repertoire forged through past experiences of coping with various types of stress. Studies generally advise that adaptation to stress is facilitated by persons becoming familiar with their particular sets of stress responses so that there is no attempt to depart from these familiar mechanisms in given circumstances. In assuming an alien role and personality, a person becomes unpredictable and less able to cope. Coping strategies should also include preparation for the possibility of becoming involved in a terrorist incident, particularly for likely terrorist targets. Preparation can include discussions with family members about their responses in the event of kidnapping or assassination, keeping in fit physical condition, simulation of a likely terrorist incident, and rote learning of appropriate responses to different terrorist scenarios. Target hardening is also part of a prevention strategy and can include the use of varying routes to work and style of dress, the use of armored vehicles, chauffeur training in defensive and high-speed driving, and generally keeping a low profile. In the event of being taken hostage by terrorists, persons may increase their survival chances by supplying personal information about themselves to captors, so that they may be treated more as persons than as objects. Likely victims should also anticipate adjustments following terrorist incidents, particularly after being a hostage. Psychological help for victims and their families should be accepted as a matter of course in the aftermaths of incidents. Eighteen notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Hostage syndromes; Personal Security/Self Protection; Physical crime prevention; Stress management; Victims of terrorism
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