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Quick tips in hostage situations
By Sarah Etter, News Reporter
Published: 05/15/2006

Certified crisis, hostage negotiator, Frank McClure, suggests the following for COs taken hostage:

Maintain dignity - Maintaining eye contact and remind the hostage taker that everyone involved are human beings. It is less likely they will use violence against you.

Resist rape - If told to take off clothes, explain that you will not submit. This maintains dignity and forces the hostage taker to reconsider what they are doing.

Blend in – If in a group, avoid standing up or yelling. Drawing attention might cause you to be singled out, especially during violent episodes.

Rest – Understand that you have no idea how long this situation will play out. Rest whenever possible to conserve energy.

Daydream - While it might seem odd, daydreaming can reduce the stress of the situation. Even for short periods of time, it will mentally remove you from your circumstance.

Eat - You will need the energy from the food provided.  Refusing a meal might make the aggressor think you are on a hunger strike and anger him. Some nationalities and cultures consider refusing food a sign that you are against them.

Answer questions - You might have to speak with negotiators or authorities to prove your safety.  Be prepared to answer their questions, but do not volunteer random information since it might aggravate the situation.

Avoid suggestions - Do not offer advice. This may result in violent repercussions, especially if the hostage taker takes your advice and things do not go as planned.

Stay down - In case of a rescue attempt stay down until told otherwise. Hostage takers might swap clothes with hostages which can confuse tactical teams. So, hit the ground, cover your head, and wait until you receive orders from the rescue team. 


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