Practical challenges During a hostage taking or wrongful detention

Many families find themselves dealing with a range of practical challenges that arise as a result of their loved one’s kidnapping. They can be more difficult to solve than would normally be the case – partly because it might be difficult without the family member there, and also because of the impacts of stress which can make problem solving a lot more difficult.

Hostage US is here to help you with any practical challenges you encounter – please get in touch and we can discuss ways we can support you to solve the problem.

Relationships with government and outside agencies

Many families have little experience dealing with big government bureaucracies. There are many different agencies and departments involved in responding to a kidnapping, so you are likely to deal with a large number of individuals and parts of government. It can be confusing and overwhelming. It can seem overly formal to put your correspondence in writing, making a note of what has been said and agreed actions. The normal practice for government agencies.

Hostage US can help you to make sense of this, prepare effectively for your meetings with government, and help you to understand how best to handle your interaction with the government.

Handling the media

See our guide Handling the Media and Social Media.

Each kidnapping is unique and there is therefore no ‘standard’ approach to the media. In most cases, you will be advised not to publicize the kidnapping in the media. This might be because the kidnappers have asked that the case be kept out of the media, it might be to help limit false leads, or it might be due to security concerns. There are some cases where media can play a useful role. In all cases, it is advisable to make decisions about the media in conjunction with the people who are managing negotiations and have a full picture of communications and background information.

Social media

You need to think carefully about using social media during a kidnap. Much of the content on your accounts will be public or semi-public, so can be accessed by the kidnappers themselves or the media. Your accounts or those of your loved one held captive might contain information or photographs that could be harmful for them. Some families may experience unwanted attention or messages on social media, which can be very upsetting. Hostage US is here to help you with those problems.

Finances and household management

You may experience financial problems as a result of the kidnapping. There might be additional costs for you, your ability to earn an income might be impacted, you might need to cover costs of your loved one, such as health insurance or subscriptions, that they would normally pay. You might also experience problems when trying to access joint bank accounts, insurance policies or in dealing with government agencies, such as the IRS. Hostage US can help.