Over the past few years, we have seen Hollywood take a major interest in kidnappings and abductions. Movies have sensationalized this horrible event with exaggerated story lines and unrealistic outcomes. In a movie, it’s easy to outrun bullets. Even a little girl can overpower a grown man on the big screen. In the worst case scenario, the helpless abducted woman is still in holding when her father manages to track down her kidnappers and save the day. While this kind of story makes for great movie reviews, it creates a completely unrealistic view of what it’s like to be abducted. In reality, it’s a terrifying situation and in most cases, the victim is never seen alive again.
In the United States, an estimated 1.5 million children are abducted every year. In fact, a child is reported missing every 40 seconds. The vast majority of kidnappings occur within a quarter mile of the victim’s home and 71% of victims are reportedly taken by strangers. More than 70% of victims are female and in nearly half of abductions, the victim is sexually assaulted. Perhaps the scariest statistic of all is that 75% of abducted children are murdered within three hours after they are kidnapped.
Obviously, this is a widespread problem and it’s something that we need to be talking about. It’s time to have a frank discussion about the harsh realities of abduction and learn what to do if we are ever caught in a similar situation. Would you know what to do if you were abducted?
In the first moments after you are taken, your gut instinct will be to panic. If the abductor has a weapon, you don’t want to escalate the situation by provoking an attack. Stay calm and try to think rationally. The important thing here is to keep the attacker calm and uninterested in hurting you. This will buy you valuable minutes of time to plan an escape.
Many will argue that you need to claw, kick, and scream, but this will do nothing to keep the attacker from shooting you or cutting your throat. If there is a weapon visible, you need to act cautiously. While you do want to draw attention to your situation, you also want to make the attacker assume that you are compliant. So the real attention seeking will occur once you have been placed in a vehicle. Lets assume that you are placed in the trunk of a car. This is a best-case scenario because the trunk of a car has several features that make it possible for you to escape or to be found.
Signal for Help
If you find yourself in the trunk, always look for the emergency trunk release. Most late model cars have this feature and you will find that the escape latch is connected to a cord that has a large plastic end. Pull the cord and the trunk will open. If this is not a possibility, then you need to move to the second approach. For this option you will need to do a little bit of demolition. Every trunk offers access to the taillights. Taillights are easy to break and this is going to offer you a great opportunity to draw attention. Once you locate the taillights you need to break one out. Kick it hard until the light falls out and then you can slide your arm through the hole and wave wildly. Hopefully, someone in a passing car will see your hand waving and call the police.
If your attacker tries to overpower you without using a weapon, it’s time to fight back. In this scenario you need to channel your inner Bruce Lee and become a butt-kicking monster. Bite, kick, punch, pull hair, and gouge eyes. Do whatever you need to do to get away and to alert the public of your plight. Obviously men are going to be vulnerable to groin shots. Kick, punch, grab, and even pull at the crotch and a man will likely let go. If the attacker has no weapon then you must not be cooperative and you should not allow yourself to be placed in a vehicle. You are stronger than you think and you can do some serious damage if you fight hard.
What About Sexual Assault?
If you don’t manage to get away during the abduction or while you are in the vehicle, you need to be prepared to fight against a sexual assault. Unfortunately, rape is closely intertwined with abduction cases. As a woman this is a horrendous fear of mine and I think it is so important to play the situation out in your mind ahead of time. Know how you would respond so you will act quickly without having to contemplate your next move.
Use every part of your body to fight back – kick, punch, elbow, or use your knees. Another important weapon is your teeth! If your attacker is forcing himself on you, he will likely try to pin your arms and legs, but you can still use your teeth. Bite whatever will inflict the most pain and whatever you can access in the moment – ears, nose, or even genitals. Bite hard! This will end all aggression momentarily and offer you the chance to escape. If that is not something that you can do then use your closed fist or your knees to inflict serious pain to the groin region. You can also use your thumbs to remove, and yes I said remove, the eyes of your attacker.
Prevention is Key
While all of these scenarios are horrible to consider, there is also something else that you could do to help prevent this situation. Always keep a personal weapon on you at all times. My husband is an avid knife collector so I always have a sharp blade at all times. I am also a concealed carry momma so I always have my .380 with me and it isn’t visible thanks to my discreet holster. I also have a vile of pepper spray on my key chain. These are just a few of the things that you can keep with you to help ward off a potential abduction or attack.
Ultimately, there is no textbook that can teach you what to do if you are abducted because no two situations are the same. Just stay calm and try to take advantage of every opportunity to escape. Fight for your life… don’t become a statistic!