By Katie Symansky Hunter. October 2023 Among the countless challenges faced by former wrongful detainees and hostages upon their return home, is the process of becoming a member of their own family again. It can be jarring to realize that while away, your family has changed. Children have gotten older, spouses have taken on more responsibilities, and extended families may … Read More
View the Annual Sponsor & Underwriting Opportunities Over 200 Americans are estimated to be taken hostage and wrongfully detained each year. Hostage US is the only organization that provides support and professional services to families during captivity and to former captives when they return home. This experience is terrifying for everyone involved. Family members are shocked and unprepared when they … Read More
Read about our accomplishments over the past year in our 2023 Annual Report. Thank you for your support and commitment to our work. View the Annual Report online View as a PDF or download the Annual Report
By Katie Symansky Hunter, July 2023 In our last quarterly article, we focused on how a wrongful detainment or hostage situation affects family dynamics from the perspective of the one left behind. The partner who is still at home trying desperately to get their loved one home, while also managing the obstacles that make up everyday life. That article can … Read More
He’s Home! Now What? 3 women talk about reuniting with their loved ones after a wrongful detention. By Katie Symansky- Hunter, April 2023 *The names of individuals and countries are changed for the sake of confidentiality. When your partner is taken away from you, held in a prison cell in a hostile country, and held for no other reason than … Read More
Finding Your Center in the Eye of the Storm Hostage US Article By: Katie Symansky Hunter, January 2023 When a loved one is taken hostage or wrongfully detained, it can feel like a cycle of unending ups and downs, alternating hope and worry, optimism, and despair, while we ourselves are prisoners of the uncertainty and shifting tides of changing expectations. … Read More
Please take some time to read about our accomplishments over the past year in our 2022 Annual Report. Thank you for your commitment to our critical mission. View the Annual Report here. Download the Annual Report here.
Navigating the Phases of a Long-Running Case Hostage US Article By Winnie Lee, August, 2022 It can be hard to imagine learning the news that your loved one has been wrongfully detained or kidnapped in another country, far from home. For families navigating long-running cases, months turn to years and while new challenges and issues arise, Hostage US works to … Read More
Finding Purpose After a Kidnapping Hostage US Article July 2022 By Winnie Lee “I believed my purpose died out there in the desert – but it didn’t.” It has been ten years since Jessica Buchanan was released after 93 days of being held hostage by Somali pirates, and although she has come a long way, it has not been easy. … Read More
The Family’s Perspective: Miles Hargrove discusses the making of his feature film, Miracle Fishing, which documents his father’s kidnapping Miles Hargrove’s father, Tom, was kidnapped in Colombia in 1994 while working as an agricultural scientist. During the 11 months of his captivity, his wife Susan encouraged their son Miles to pick up his Super-8 camera to capture some of the … Read More
The Conversation of Wrongful Detainment January 2022 Wrongful detainment. Unlawful imprisonment. Arbitrary detention. Although each of these terms begins with an adjective that describes the unjust nature of the act, the fact that a jail—and therefore an authority—is involved usually requires a little more explanation in conversation. Properly defining these terms will help the public and the world at large … Read More
Please take some time to read about our accomplishments over the past year in our 2021 Annual Report. Thank you for your commitment to our critical mission. Download the PDF here.
It Takes a Tribe October 2021 When a loved one is taken hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, it’s a steep learning curve for the family involved. There is a sudden and immediate break from the trajectory of a familiar reality and families often feel thrust into a web of government meetings, accumulating expenses, legal questions, exhaustion, terror, and isolation. Likewise, … Read More
Hear directly from former hostages in this Hostage US podcast as they describe captivity. Each former hostage talks about the experience of being kidnapped, living in captivity, and what it was like for their families back home. They also explain the challenges involved in coming home and navigating reintegration and the process of healing after being held. Thank you to … Read More
ASIS International What Security Managers Need to Know When an Employee is Taken Hostage Despite a robust travel risk mitigation program, an employee is taken hostage. What’s next? Many organizations have plans to get a hostage home. But most have not thought through how they will support that employee’s family during the crisis or what will happen once the hostage is released. Why does it matter to … Read More
Hostage US Article, July 2021 Hostage Shaming By Winnie Lee Shame is one of the most painful, toxic, and self-destructive emotions a person can have. It involves feelings of guilt, regret, embarrassment, or sadness surrounding the belief that you have done something wrong. Jessica Buchanan, who was held in Somalia for 93 days, says that “shame is probably the number … Read More
View the interactive Hostage US 2020 Annual Report by clicking the thumbnail below. On mobile devices, please view a PDF of the report here 2020 Annual Report.
The coronavirus pandemic and the impact on former hostages and families of hostages Personal stories of captivity Returning home and the support needed for former hostages
Damon Walsh, CEO and Co-Founder of Mission Solutions Group (MSG) and a team of MSG runners are racing to raise money for Hostage US in the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K and Half Marathon! Damon has gone above and beyond by spearheading this team with a fundraising goal of $5000 going toward the families and hostages we serve. Join MSG and their … Read More
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“There’s no reason that duty of care should not extend to freelancers,” says Sharbil Nammour, head of Global Security at Vice.
Hostage US announces new Board and Advisory Council Members · Former hostage elected to Board of Directors · Former special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism joins Advisory Council · Former presidential envoy for Hostage Affairs joins Advisory Council Washington, D.C., September 19, 2018 – Hostage US today announced its newest Board and Advisory Council members. Journalist … Read More
Freed From Imprisonment in North Korea, but Not From Doubt and Despair By Amy Harmon, May 10, 2018
ISIS murdered her son. But she wasn’t going to let that be his only legacy. By Marilyn W. Thompson, May 10, 2018 Diane Foley poses for a portrait in her office at the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in Rochester, N.H. Foley started the foundation in honor of her son, a reporter who in 2014 became the first U.S. hostage killed … Read More
Bonice Thomas challenged government officials to do more for Canadians kidnapped abroad Thomas went up against the RCMP, the diplomats, the military and the politicians after her brother Robert Hall was abducted and murdered in the Philippines.
On Monday evening 30 April, Bonice Hall Thomas moved on from her mortal body. She was supported by her loving family and friends and the caring staff and volunteers at Shornecliffe and Sunshine Coast Hospice, Sechelt, BC. Bonice was a true maverick and lived life based on her convictions, refuting many of the pressures of our dominant society. We … Read More
By: Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post January 25, 2018 Along with increased pressure and threats from unfriendly governments, journalists in some parts of the world face the prospect of becoming bargaining chips. The German magazine Der Spiegel reported this week that Berlin is considering allowing Ankara to make a previously prohibited arms purchase from a German firm in exchange for the … Read More
Lincoln Journal Star: Marcel Pika Released from Congolese Prison By Peter Salter, Lincoln Journal Star January 8, 2018 He woke Christmas morning in Omaha to a half-dozen missed calls and messages — from his mother in the Republic of Congo, from a man who knew what went on where his father was imprisoned. Percy Pika had grown to fear … Read More
New Kidnapping Trends on the Global Stage The following summary was sourced from Frank Grimm, Director of Crisis Response Services for Constellis, an international security company, at the June 2017 Hostage US Annual Washington, DC Seminar. The material is shared on an informational basis only and does not infer any formal relationship nor verification with the provider. Statistics of … Read More
If You’re Arrested Abroad, the U.S. May Not Bail You Out The State Department needs to do a better job protecting travelers—and warning of the danger. By Jared Genser July 23, 2017 I represent two Americans, Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer, being held in deplorable conditions in Iran’s Evin Prison. Last October they were sentenced to 10 years on … Read More
Hostage US launched tailored training available to organizations to educate employers on Duty of Care obligations to their employees in the case of an international kidnapping. Many organizations have tried and tested policies and procedures to handle to operational response to a kidnapping – covering prevention and response, yet most have not thought through the human dynamics of a hostage … Read More
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