Kidnap & Ransom: Do’s and Don’t’s When Dealing With Ransom Demands
If your child goes missing, it may be the case that your child has become the victim of a kidnapping. When this happens, there are certain do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind when dealing with ransom demands.
Be prepared: Do’s and don’t’s
First and foremost, be prepared to pay. Kidnappings and ransoms are almost always about money, but they’re also about control. You cannot simply just give in to the kidnapper’s demand. Usually there is negotiation back and forth before a deal is made. Keep this in mind when dealing with ransom demands.
Remember there is room to negotiate in an ordeal like this one. As mentioned earlier, there is usually some discussion, so try and take that opportunity to negotiate, while still handling the situation and your child’s kidnapper in a safe manner. Don’t ever simply meet the kidnappers’ first random offer. Try to reach a reasonable ransom according to your unique situation.
Stay calm and get information: Do’s and don’t’s
If you are dealing with a ransom situation, don’t expect it to be over quickly. Try to stay calm but keep in mind that actual kidnapping cases can last for days, weeks, months, or even years. Be sure you also establish and demand proof of life from the kidnapper before any deal or consensus is made. This needs to happen at first contact with the kidnapper. Proof of life tells you that the caller/kidnapper has your child. You have the caller take a question and then deliver the answer. This step usually involves personal questions, such as “Who was your favorite teacher in middle school?” depending on the age of your child.
Don’t call the police first
The first call you make should not be to the police, but to a private security firm. If you suspect your child might have been kidnapped for ransom, especially if they were in a foreign country, the first call should be to a private security firm and they will help you to decide whether or not to contact the authorities. After assessing a kidnapping situation, a consultant will be assigned to the family, and they are usually someone based in the country that has knowledge of the culture and speaks the local language. The goal for a kidnapping consultant is to get the victim back safe and sound, which is very different from the police who also aim to capture the kidnappers. When it is your child who’s been taken, the main objective is getting your child back as safely and soon as possible. Keeping this in mind, be careful in how you deal with local law enforcement. Their focus isn’t just on your child – it’s also on the kidnapper(s).
Maintaining your composure and making the drop
When dealing with a kidnapping, don’t give in to emotions and promises any more than you already have. This makes any ransom deal or communication with the kidnapper harder to deal with, and you need to remain as reasonable as possible when in this situation. Also do not ask about the victim or your child’s whereabouts during the process of the ransom demand. When you’ve agreed to an amount with the kidnapper, simply arrange to make a drop and follow any directions they give you. When doing the drop of the ransom, send a trusted person.
If you are the victim
If you find yourself the victim and you have been kidnapped, do not try to escape. It is very dangerous to try and pull off an escape and it doesn’t often work. Be as complacent as possible and stay calm.