There are only 4 possible outcomes of a kidnapping:

  • Rescue
  • Ransom
  • Escape
  • Death

So, how do you escape from an attempted abduction or kidnapping when travelling in a foreign country?

During the initial phase, the shock of capture and the adrenaline-fueled anxiety of your captors means that you need to make a rapid decision: to escape or to surrender. Your choice can result in your life or death.

Here are some proven tactics to help you escape a kidnapping:

  • At the moment of abduction, overcome your normalcy bias, accept the reality of the situation, become objective and remain calm.
  • The best time to escape is when you are in public during the confusion of the abduction. Your hostage takers are concentrating on controlling the situation and might create opportunities for you to escape.
  • Focus on your senses. Apart from your 5 senses you can also use proprioception and equilibrioception to know your body and develop the balance required for escaping fast.
  • Look at how your captors are behaving and select the shortest route to safety. If someone is blocking your chosen path, commit to overcome them with concentrated and focused aggression.
  • Identify the obstacles and conditions that could impact on your escape attempt. A high wall might force you to go around the obstacle; whereas darkness might enable you to hide near the point of abduction without travelling far. A river or the sea might provide you with an opportunity to swim away.
  • Consider what items can be used in the surrounding area to help your escape effort. Sand can be thrown into the face of your captor; a door jamb can snap a flexicuff; or a pebble used to create a distraction.
  • Rather than relying on your fists, always make an improvised weapon and use it with speed, aggression and surprise when necessary.

If you have decided in advance that you would rather escape than face the horrors of detention, torture, sickness and violence, practice doing so on one of our Hostile Environment Awareness Training courses. 

In Africa, the reputation and financial credibility of your organization is at risk.

HR departments must identify and prepare for such risks and this post explains how.

The key threat to a NGO is an ethical one: how do you prevent your staff from suffering harm by the loss of life, liberty or limb? Your staff are often working in areas affected by the lack of infrastructure, terrorist activity or natural disaster, yet they remain your responsibility.

This risk of harm is often caused by inadequate Duty of Care (DoC) protocols and unplanned security incidents. To prevent such harm to your staff and designated personnel, you need a documented strategy to ensure their safety and security wherever they are located.

Zero Foundation Africa provides expert advice and training to NGOs to ensure that they can deliver their services in a safe and secure environment.

We achieve this by the following services:

  • 1. Develop documented policies, standard operating procedures and operational practices to ensure your compliance with your Duty of Care obligations.
  • 2. Liaise with insurance companies to maintain a high level of responsiveness in the event of a catastrophic incident.
  • 3. Recruit, select and train suitably qualified local staff to provide travel security services for your staff. Apart from conducting an airport meet and greet, secure transportation, baggage handling and customs clearance of critical goods, your local team must also provide other services.
  • 4. Your local security team needs to have emergency first aid training, acquire defensive driving knowledge, know rapid evacuation tactics and manage convoy security.
  • 5. Ex-pat staff and designated personnel must undergo a H.E.AT. course to understand how to handle disasters both natural and man-made. Learning such self-reliance survival skills will reduce the HR managers’ dependence on third parties who might not be able respond quickly enough.
  • 6. Schedule a briefing session by our Zero Foundation Africa travel security experts before visiting in-country.

Using current and on-the-ground intelligence, your executives will receive the newest destination intelligence, predict future courses of action, identify the nature of actual threats and develop tried and tested countermeasures.

As a leading provider of H.E.A.T. courses and anti-kidnap training for NGOs in Africa, read our datasheet for HR Managers for NGOs in Africa here and learn how protect your assets from financial and reputational damage.