Hostage US Article: It Takes a Tribe

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, when former hostages and wrongful detainees return home, they are tasked with navigating the challenges of reintegration and rebuilding while also trying to process and heal from a severe trauma. Whether it is for a day or a year, having the ownership of your life taken from you by the hands of another person can be catastrophic—emotionally, mentally, and physically. Meanwhile, the bills may have piled up or taxes weren’t paid. There’s the issue of employment, of attention (or lack of attention) from media, of legal issues, property issues, and rebuilding relationships with friends, family, and community.

When a family member or a former captive comes to Hostage US, we listen, hold space, and then match our stride to walk alongside of the people we support. Each person is connected with a single point of contact at Hostage US. These family support volunteers are highly trained specialists who help clear the noise, find a path, set priorities, and bring back a sense of grounding. Every case is unique and is given tailored support and care. The volunteer offers direct emotional support while the Hostage US staff works to find solutions to each person’s specific set of challenges. Our staff is steered by an impressive Board of Directors and Advisory Council and backed by an extensive network of professionals and experts. We quietly build the safety net, the connections, and the community so that no one who goes through this crisis has to suffer alone.

Hostage US strives to empower the people we support—with knowledge, resources, and high-quality pro bono services and care from our network of law firms, financial advisory firms, mental health practitioners, media experts, regional and subject matter experts, and medical care. We offer a safe space to talk through experiences and think through critical decisions and we are available to attend government meetings, make travel arrangements, help solve practical challenges, and connect people who have been through similar experiences. Hostage US is there every step of the way.

It takes a tribe.

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our network of dedicated supporters, volunteers, and donors. These compassionate people, just like you, see the value in our critical mission. To learn how you or your organization can get involved—or how you or someone you know could benefit from our services—contact us here: info@hostageus.org.

From a mother of a wrongful detainee:

“After getting the news of my son’s capture I felt absolutely helpless. I felt like life was hopeless. What could I do? How could I ever help my son I wondered. As a family we started contacting every government agency we could think of.

It wasn’t long after I was introduced to Hostage US. I finally felt like someone understands and cares. Their support has been amazing. They are always available and ready to help. The personal encouragement has truly been a blessing. It has made such a difference just knowing someone is there to help with support and knowledge to help navigate through this most horrible situation.

I will be forever grateful for all the phone calls and support I have received. Just knowing they are here until my son is released makes this a tiny bit easier.”