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PCFR Event: Taken Hostage: The Silent Victims of Kidnapping Abroad
October 23, 2019
Taken Hostage: The Silent Victims of Kidnapping Abroad
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 11:30 am-1:15 pm
Lunch & Networking: 11:30 am-12:00 pm
Program: 12:00-1:15 pm
ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Room 601
111 E. Taylor Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Member Registration: $20
Non-Member Registration: $25
About the Event
It is estimated that up to 200 Americans are kidnapped overseas each year—taken by terrorists in places such as Afghanistan and Syria and by criminals in countries such as Mexico and Central and South America. Others are detained by countries including Iran and North Korea. The problem is larger than most Americans are aware, but because of the necessary secrecy, most cases do not make the headlines.
Families suffer alone and in silence and struggle to make sense of this new and strange world they are thrown into. They face a myriad of challenges; navigating the branches of government, finding properly qualified counselors, most of whom don’t accept health insurance, accessing their loved ones bank accounts if they do not have passwords or a power of attorney, along with the challenges posed by acute fear and sleeplessness over months or even years.
After surviving captivity, hostages must then learn how to survive survival; coping with choice again, reintegrating into families who struggle to know how best to support them, PTSD, rebuilding their bodies after the harsh physical conditions of captivity, and coming home to a financial mess with no credit rating and unfiled tax returns to contend with. The problems are myriad, complex, and especially difficult to solve for those who are sleep deprived and suffering the effects of trauma.
Rachel Briggs OBE is the Founding Executive Director of Hostage US. She will share her experience working with hundreds of former hostages and families over the past 15 years, as well as what she learned when her own family had their own brush with hostage taking – her uncle was kidnapped in Colombia and held for 7 months.