Hostage Taking / Abduction

Witness to a Hostage Situation or Abduction

  1. Immediately call 911.

  2. Observe the following and if safe to do so, relay the information:

    • Number of hostage taker(s).

    • Number of hostages.

    • Description of hostage taker(s):

      • race, sex, and ethnicity
      • clothing
      • facial features (beard, glasses, mustache, etc.)
    • Description of the hostage(s).

    • Weapons hostage taker has or threatened.

    • Location of hostages.

    • Demands made by hostage taker(s).

    • Preparation of hostage taker(s).

    • Emotional state of hostage taker(s).

    • Any other pertinent information.

If You Are Taken Hostage

  • Remain calm.

  • Follow the directions of the hostage taker(s).

  • Avoid insulting your abductor or talking about potentially sensitive subjects.

  • Direct any other hostages to remain calm and follow directions of hostage taker(s).

  • Try to communicate with the hostage taker(s), if possible.

  • Make mental notes of all details of hostage taker(s).

  • Do not try to be a “hero” and self-rescue or rescue other hostages unless there is no other option.

  • Keep a survival attitude. Be positive.

  • Ask for small favors if you’re settled in for a long captivity, gradually ask for small accommodations.

  • Try to escape only if the time is right.

  • Stay out of the way if a rescue attempt is made.

  • Do not make any inadvertent moves.

  • Follow the rescuers’ instructions carefully.

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