Thursday, November 6, 2014

Survive Kidnapping

The man came out of nowhere, grabbed Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, and dragged her into his car. She'd been kidnapped.

It's the kind of story that happens all too often, sometimes in broad daylight and in public places. Most of the victims are women, sometimes grabbed from a parking lot and dragged into a vehicle adjacent to the victim's car. And most of the time the victim ends up dead.

But this time there was a happy outcome — Carlesha was found alive, and her kidnapper was taken into custody. So we should take a look at what Carlesha did that helped her survive.

A spokesman from the Philadelphia police department reported that Carlesha's fighting spirit was probably what kept her alive. "My understanding is, even after she was in the car and bound, she continued to struggle with this guy."

When authorities located the car used in the abduction, the rear window had been kicked out. Indeed, a witness to the kidnapping told police that Carlesha kicked out some of the car's windows before it sped away. Her glasses and cell phone were found at the site of the abduction, along with a pile of broken auto glass. That gave law enforcement something to look for — a car with the windows broken out. That was a clue that led to her eventual rescue.

There's a survival principle at work here. Fight for your life, and be creative in the ways you can attract attention to your plight. In my book, The Ultimate Survival Manual, I include this piece of advice:

To signal other drivers that you’ve been abducted and are in the trunk of a car, defeat the taillights altogether or use them to send an SOS. To gain access to the taillights, you might have to remove or break through a lightweight panel. Once through the panel you’ll probably be able to see the light operating. Find the wiring harness. Best solution is to cut one of the wires and strip back the insulation so you can alternately make and break contact to make the light flash. Dit, dit, dit, dah, dah, dah, dit, dit, dit for SOS.

Do whatever it takes, but by all means never give up. Fight as if your life depends on it — because it probably does.

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