Let’s hope you’re never abducted. In Three Days To Live, Oxygen’s show about the crucial days following the abduction of a woman, you’ll learn how make-or-break the first 72 hours can be. Indeed, after those first days, the chances of being found alive dwindle. The show tells the stories of women who have been abducted from their own homes and others who have disappeared after going shopping. Narrated by SuChin Pak, if you love mystery, Three Days To Live will have you on the edge of your seat--but might also leave you wondering what you would do if the same thing happened to you. If you’re ever facing an abduction (touch all the wood right now) here’s what you need to know.
1. The First Moments Are Pivotal
The first moments of an abduction are the most important and the most dangerous. If you’re being grabbed in a public place, make a commotion--you want to draw as much attention to yourself as possible. However, if you’re in a secluded situation and being overpowered, it might be in your best interests to be compliant. Fighting back might cause your kidnapper to panic and hurt you, so it’s important to remain calm.
2. It’s Important For You To Stay Composed And Dignified
The entire time you’re being held captive you need to do your best to stay calm. The more composed you are, the more chance you’ll have of making an escape. Likewise, maintaining your dignity (not crying, begging or grovelling, as well as refraining from anger and throwing insults) can help relations between you and your captor and keep you from further harm.
3. You Must Observe As Much As You Can
If you’re in a car trunk, count the number of turns, and which direction you go (left or right). Listen for telling sounds (is there a train near by? A building site?) and specific smells. Everything you observe is information that could save you by revealing your location--which is also why it’s so important that you maintain your composure.
4. Finding Out Why You’ve Been Abducted Is Essential
If you’ve been abducted for ransom, then you’re more valuable alive, so your best bet for survival is to be as calm, agreeable and compliant with your kidnapper as possible. If the person abducting you seems their only end is to do you harm, then you might need to be prepared to fight, run and defend yourself.
5. If You Get The Chance, Call The Police, Not A Friend Or Family Member
If you get your hands on a phone, your first impulse might be to call your parents or a partner--don’t, unless your dad is Liam Neeson in Taken. Call the police first. It should go without saying that they’re going to be best equipped to get you out of the situation, and you want to be able to give them any information you can first hand, rather than having it filtered through a panicked loved one. Plus, if you call from a cell phone, it’s probably traceable, but with police technology, not by your friends or family.
6. Don’t Try To Negotiate Your Own Release
It might seem like you can negotiate your way out of a kidnapping, but hostage negotiation is actually a very difficult, very precise job that requires an expert. If your captor is holding you for ransom, let the professional negotiators get your out of there--your “help” could end up being an impediment and putting you at risk.
7. Stockholm Syndrome Probably Won’t Happen To You
Stockholm Syndrome isn’t an actually psychologically recognized disorder. There are pathological traits both victims and kidnappers have that can cause them to form a bond, however, this is extremely rare. Occasionally, a victim will also feel empathy towards their abductor, but it’s nothing like the romanticised notion of Stockholm Syndrome.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.