Here Are 12 Ways To Escape A Kidnapper

Most of us don't want to think about the possibility of being kidnapped, let alone having to devise an escape plan. Abduction is a terrifying crime, and though reasonably rare, it happens often enough that it's useful to know the basics of escaping a kidnapper.

Many abductees have escaped horrifying situations, even after they've been beaten, assaulted, and in one case dismembered and left for dead. Humans are surprisingly resilient, and our determination to live is often impressive when push comes to shove. If you're not able to avoid being kidnapped, the way you react and conduct yourself throughout the situation may just save your life.

  • Your Best Chance Of Escaping Is In The First Few Seconds

    In the initial moments of a kidnapping, the most advisable tactic is to fight back. Although it can be dangerous if your kidnapper is armed, you're more likely to have witnesses to the attack before the captor takes you to a place of their choosing. These first few moments are for self-defense and preemptive action; do everything you can to impede this person from taking you.

    If there are people around, scream, yell, and make as much noise as possible. As Bear Grylls advises, "fight dirty," which means you should aim for the eyes, throat, and genitals. Do not let yourself be taken easily. The more you fight in these first few seconds, the more likely you are to scare off your abductor. If you can, take a self defense training course in your area to prepare. If you have pepper spray or some sort of safety whistle, make sure you use it.

  • Don't Attempt To Remove Restraints Or Blindfolds

    Trying to break out of hand restraints or removing a blindfold is only advisable if you're convinced that you have a good chance of escaping. Otherwise, you may injure yourself or enrage your captor more.

    If your kidnapper sees that you've escaped from hand restraints, they may come down on you even harder, replacing your previous restraints with something even more limiting. Additionally, you need to be in your best health and have all of your strength if you're going to survive; if you cut yourself badly, you most likely won't receive medical attention from your captors, and you could develop an infection.

    Similarly, don't try to remove yours or anybody else's blindfold. If you're blindfolded, it could be a sign that they don't want you to see their identity and may have plans to release you.

  • If You're A Passenger In A Car, Try To Make The Driver Crash

    There are many different variations on this scenario, but the fact is that your kidnapper will most likely need a vehicle to take you to wherever they're trying to hide you. If you're the passenger in a car, and your hands aren't bound, make it your priority to attack your abductor so they crash the car. Of course, you should only attempt this at slow speeds to guarantee your safety. If you're in the passenger seat, you can yank the wheel, attempt to turn the key in the ignition, or step your foot onto the accelerator, depending on the vehicle type. If you're in the backseat, try attacking the captor's eyes or grab them by the throat, causing them to panic and crash.

    If you find yourself in the trunk of a car, things get a little more difficult. If you're lucky and it's a newer car, some have glow-in-the-dark emergency release handles to open the trunk from the inside. If the car seats lay down, look for knobs or pull-straps. When the car is stopped, make your move. You can also look for a heavy item, like a car jack, and attempt to wedge the back of the trunk open.

  • In A Group Of Captives, Don't Stand Out

    If you end up placed in holding with other captives, the number one rule is that you shouldn't stand out. Do all you can to blend into the pack; don't give your captors any reason to target you, or even worse, make an example out of you. 

    Be careful about what information you share with fellow captives. If tortured or offered a release for sharing information, they might tell the captors what they know. That being said, communicating with fellow abductees when it's deemed safe is recommended — not only will it help the traumatizing event pass, but together you may have more luck planning an effective escape.

  • Keep Your Abductor At Ease

    The first 24 hours is often the most critical in a kidnapping, and it's in your best interest to remain calm and not aggravate or provoke your kidnapper in the slightest. Aside from your initial chance of fighting and screaming, it's best to stay quiet and courteous as the kidnapping progresses. 

    As much as your instinct tells you to fight for your life, and despite the anger you will likely feel towards them, the more polite and empathetic you are, the more of a rapport you'll build with your captor. Creating a relationship may save your life or at least buy you more time to strategize your escape. 

  • Humanize Yourself As Much As Possible

    Make an effort to appeal to your captor's human element. Try as hard as you can to form a bond with them; if possible, talk about your children or family who might need you without revealing too many details.

    Be a good listener, and take careful note of what information your captor shares with you. Shy away from touchy subjects, such as politics or religion. It's psychologically proven to be more difficult for your captor to harm you if they see you as human. Don't grovel or beg, nor try to challenge them. If they see you as someone who should be respected, they'll be much less likely to harm or kill you.