Action in extreme situations

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Unfortunately, none of us is safe from a situation where we may be held hostage by terrorists.

But there are still a few universal rules.

When taking hostages, keep in mind that:

  • Only at the moment of taking hostages is there a real opportunity to escape from the scene.
  • Adjust psychologically that you will not be released immediately, but remember that you will be released for sure.
  • In no event it is impossible to shout, to Express their outrage.
  • If the assault begins, you must fall to the floor and cover your head with your hands, while trying to take a position away from Windows and doorways.
  • Stay away from the terrorists, because snipers will shoot at them during the assault.
  • If you are injured, the main thing is to try to stop the bleeding by dressing the wound. Give help to someone who is nearby, but in a more difficult situation.
  • Do not take up arms, so that you are not confused with terrorists.
  • Don't try to resist terrorists on your own.
  • If a bomb is placed on you, you need to make it clear to the security services without panicking by voice or hand movement.
  • Record in memory all events that accompany the capture. This information will be very important for law enforcement agencies.

Recommendations for action in the capture

Try to remain calm and not show your fear. Do not resist the terrorists, do not try to engage them in conversation, do not try to soften them or dissuade them from carrying out their plan. Follow their demands and do not react to their actions against other hostages.

Do not violate the rules established by the terrorists, so as not to provoke a deterioration in your conditions of detention. For example, you should not try to contact your family or law enforcement agencies. If this becomes known to your captors, they will perceive it as insubordination and at least make the regime of your detention more stringent.

There may come a time when taking care of your own state of mind and body will seem pointless to you. However, in such a situation, it is very important not to forget about personal hygiene, to do physical exercises. You can't allow yourself to focus on your experiences. There are many ways to distract yourself: try to come up with a game, remember half-forgotten poems, anecdotes, etc.for believers, prayer is a great help.

Being held hostage causes mental trauma even for very persistent people. Freed people are often burdened with feelings of guilt and shame, loss of self-respect, and various kinds of fears. Remember that this is a normal reaction for former hostages. It takes quite a long time to return to normal life.

Hostages are usually subject to severe restrictions on their freedom of movement and lack of communication facilities. They do not have information about what is happening in the outside world, how events are developing around the capture. This complicates decision-making. If a hostage is allowed to make contact with relatives, they should calm their loved ones and ask them to make every effort to free them. Also, when talking to relatives, you should explain, if you have such information, what the requirements of the kidnappers are.

If your relative is being held hostage

If you find out about the capture of a loved one, immediately call the police. The release of hostages is taken very seriously, involving professionals from the Ministry of internal Affairs and the FSB with their unique technical means. Preliminary preparation for the operation lasts from several hours to several days. This depends on the speed with which the bandits make their demands, and on the victim's relatives - how quickly they will contact the police and how they will behave in the future. The case becomes more complicated if relatives independently try to buy off bandits or conduct a "double game".

When the Blackmailers make any demands, first of all make sure that the hostage is alive and unharmed. You are unlikely to be allowed to see the captured person, but you need to talk to them on the phone. At the same time, criminals need to make it clear that no negotiations can be discussed until you talk to a relative. During the conversation, you need to make sure that the person on the other end of the phone is really the person in question. The connection may be of poor quality, but you need to get information from the person you are talking to that will prove that it is really your loved one. It is also important to make sure that you are talking to a person and not to a tape recording. Remember that during the conversation, you can not even hint to try to get information about who captured a relative and where they are being held. This unnecessary curiosity may cost the hostage his life.

The psychological aspect of your conversation is very important. You need to calm the hostage by promising to take all possible measures to release him as soon as possible. Ask them how they are being treated and if they are in good health. Convince a relative that it is not necessary to take independent active actions, so as not to aggravate the situation.

Once you are sure that you are really talking to your loved one, listen carefully to the demands of the invaders. Regardless of what these requirements are, try to ask for a temporary delay. Explain this request, for example, by the current lack of financial resources or the ability to make a payment. If the negotiations go in person, ask them to repeat it if on the phone - call. Please note that the delay you receive will be quite insignificant. During this time, you should urgently decide what to do: either fulfill the conditions of the Blackmailers, or contact law enforcement agencies.

If you decide to ask for help from specialists, you should do it immediately, because the development of an operation plan, coordination of your actions with the special services, and the preparation of the capture team will take time. It is best to inform the security services over the phone, as criminals may be watching you at this time. However, for insurance, use the wrong phone number that the Blackmailers called you. Mentally prepare yourself that when you call again, the invaders can tell you that they are sure that you have turned to law enforcement for help. Most often, criminals just try to scare you and make you refuse to release your loved one with the help of special services. In this case, the answer "did not call" should be clear and clear, so that the invaders did not have a shadow of doubt about the sincerity of your answer.

When connecting to the operation of the special services, follow their instructions and try to show minimal initiative. Proceed according to the developed and approved scheme. And try to bargain for extra time. It will allow you to better prepare for the release of the hostage. If you are forced to meet with criminals to give them what they demand, get guarantees that the hostage will not be in any danger. Often, when they get what they are looking for, the terrorists deal with the hostage so that he does not give them away. It is best that when you deliver the promised message to the terrorists, you can make sure that the hostage has already been taken to a safe place and is not in any danger. In extreme cases, it should be an interchange. It is clear that the kidnappers are the ones who have the initiative, but your firm behavior in this matter will only increase the chances that the situation will be resolved safely. As soon as you have passed the required Blackmailers, try to escape from the meeting place as soon as possible and break away from the criminals.

The psychology of hostage

The hostage - taker cannot at first believe that this has happened. What happened seems like a bad dream to him, but despite this, you need to immediately start strictly adhering to the rules that will allow you to save your life and health - both your own and someone else's.

It is important not to lose your mind during the capture. Some of the hostages may have an uncontrollable reaction to the violence being committed. In this case, a person rushes to run, even when it is pointless, throws himself at the terrorists, fights, tries to snatch weapons from the militants. Terrorists usually kill a rebel hostage, even if they did not plan the murders and only expected to blackmail the authorities.

After the first such murder, the situation changes. The guilt of terrorists before the law has increased - they already feel doomed and hardened. In turn, the hostages, seeing their very likely fate, receive a severe mental trauma. Their psyche begins to destroy the horror.

If you are already captured and the opportunity to escape, which is usually only available at the first moment, is gone, you do not need to show any activity. Terrorists, as a rule, are in a state of extreme stress. Often, many of them find themselves in this situation for the first time, their nervous system is overstretched, and their psyche is working at the limit. They are also afraid, and their fear turns into aggression.

The active behavior of the hostages may frighten the terrorists, and they will respond with brutality. The less fear they have, the less aggression they will have. For every significant movement that you are going to make, you should ask for permission. If one of the hostages, even with the best intentions, is active, it is necessary to calm them down, hold them, and prevent them from shouting and swearing.

From the first days, the hostages begin the process of adaptation-adaptation to absolutely abnormal conditions of existence. However, this is given at the cost of psychological and physical disorders. The sharpness of sensations and experiences is quickly blunted, so the psyche protects itself. What outraged or exasperated us is perceived as commonplace. The main thing is not to completely lose the human form. How to hold on? Many experts note that those unfortunate people with whom their children were held hostage, as a rule, are spared from the collapse of the personality and the loss of a human face. If possible, do not lock yourself in, try to look at other people, find out if someone needs help. Even a small thing - a knowing look, a word of support - will help to create contact between you. If a person feels supported, it becomes easier for them and everyone around them. This is the first step to your salvation. Pay attention to people who have fallen into a stupor: do not try to bring them out of this state - it is better, if possible, to feed them, give them water, help them get comfortable.

However, hostages usually do not manage to avoid the apathy and aggressiveness that they develop quite soon. If the conditions of detention are harsh, then within a few hours one of the hostages begins to swear viciously with neighbors, sometimes even with their loved ones. Such aggression helps to relieve emotional stress, but at the same time drains the person.

Apathy is also a way to escape from fear and despair. But apathy is often interrupted by outbursts of helpless aggression. This cannot be completely avoided.

Nevertheless, it is possible and necessary to avoid the awakening of sadism-the desire in "righteous anger" to punish someone weak, stupid, sick through their own fault or doing something wrong or wrong.

Beware of joining the sadism of peculiar leaders who may stand out from among the hostages - the psychological consequences of this can haunt you for many years.

Hostages are sometimes unable to make another serious mistake. In the mind of a person, the idea may arise that everything is not so terrible and it is only necessary, on the one hand, to understand the terrorists, and on the other - to awaken their sympathy with tears. However, this is a harmful illusion. Sympathizing with terrorists can be your first step to betraying other hostages and breaking up your identity. Do not think that even for a minute the militants will perceive you in a new way. The situation you will find yourself in will become by and large even more terrible.

The constant threat to life and the awareness of their helplessness can lead to the development of other phenomena. It may seem that you hear sounds like the beginning of the assault, the voices of absent people, see something strange in the dark. However, this is not a sign of insanity, but a disorder that will pass no later than two weeks after release.

After the liberation

According to experts, sometimes not only people who have been held hostage, but also witnesses of terrorist attacks need the help of psychologists.

To facilitate the return to normal life of both first and second, their relatives and friends are advised to follow the following rules:

  • You can't pretend that nothing happened, but you shouldn't bother asking questions.
  • Do not try to quickly switch the victim's attention to something else. A person should be aware that something really happened to him, should Express his reaction.
  • Even if a person says that they are completely fine, it may mean that the unresolved psychological problem just goes deep and then necessarily reappears.
  • Do not prevent the person from "speaking out". You don't need to stop him, even if he tells his story over and over again to all family members and acquaintances in turn.
  • Encourage the expression of feelings during the story. If the narrator starts to cry, don't stop him, let him cry. At the same time, it is better to hug a person, let them physically feel that they are close to them.
  • Men in such cases often Express their reaction in the form of anger. Don't stop me from venting my anger. In this case, it is very useful if a person gestures, stamps or hits a pillow with his fists.
  • You can not leave the victim alone for a long time, allowing him to lock himself in.

(Based on the materials of «Антитеррор. Практикум для горожанина». Сборник/сост.: редакция сайта «Антитеррор. Ру»: Европа; Москва; 2005).


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