mental health Mandy Kloppers

How to survive an abduction

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Hopefully you will never to need to know what to do to survive an abduction but maybe reading this will save your life one day.

While every case is different there are common tactics that tend to work more than others. If you are ever taken against your will, here are a few psychological strategies to improve your chances of getting away safely:


Avoid being taken to a second location


Be observant


Leave evidence


Try to stay calm


Try to create rapport

Be empathetic. There are sound psychological reasons for this: it will be harder for your abductor to harm you if you make yourself more “human” and establish some kind of bond with them. To this end, ask for small favours: a glass of water, something to eat, a newspaper.

Try to establish a rapport with your captors. Family is a universal subject. So are sports and many hobbies. Your goal should be to get the hostage takers to view you as a real person, rather than simply an object. Listen actively to the terrorists’ feelings and concerns, but never praise, participate in, or debate their “cause.” If you know your captors’ language, use it. Ask them to teach you their language.

Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash


Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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