• Tuesday, March 03, 2015

How to Prevent Getting Abducted

Arman R. Khan

Over the last couple of months, abductions have seen a rapid rise all around Bangladesh. The motives vary and are often not clear. The government is taking its share of preventive steps to eradicate kidnapping, with special task forces made to investigate the matter. Still, we should take the following measures to avoid being abducted.
Avoid travelling alone, at least for the time being. Try to travel in groups so that potential kidnappers do not target you. And if travelling in groups is not possible for you, try to avail public transports such as bus to commute, where there would be many others thus reducing abduction possibilities.
Inform others of your whereabouts. If you are going somewhere, inform your family or friends of the location and try to keep them updated of your position whenever possible. This way, even if something goes wrong, your family and friends would be able to inform the authorities at the earliest. If you own a smartphone, use apps that can track your phone down in real time using GPS, and have some of your buddies follow your movements there. Should they see you are at an unusual place, they'd know you might be in trouble.
Carry a pepper spray. Shall anyone try to abduct you, spray directly into their eyes, break loose and run away. If pepper spray is not a viable option, you may improvise with deodorant sprays, as those sting the eyes as well. However, practice caution so as to not harm anybody innocent.
Learn some basic self defence techniques. You don't necessarily have to be black belt in Krav Maga or Taekwondo to ward off your attackers. Just learn some basics off YouTube so that you can apply those and make a run if need be.
Don't mess/mix with the wrong bunch. Not to sound parental, but this is an important issue. Listen to your parents this once, and neither befriend nor make enemies with the type of people who are capable of mugging, kidnapping, or worse.
Don't share personal information with strangers. If ransom is the motive, kidnappers may try to gather information about potential victims to see how much they're worth. Therefore, don't make your personal information public unless absolutely necessary, not even with your internet service providers. Moreover, kidnappers often choose their targets by stalking them and understanding their daily patterns, so try and keep your schedules and patterns varied, so that they don't know when or where to expect you. Subsequently, don't show off your gadgets in public. This will also minimise your chances of getting mugged.

Know the law and your rights. Some have complained that kidnappers pose as law enforcement officers and arrest thus abduct victims. Section 54 of The Code of Criminal Procedure states when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to arrest without a warrant. Unless you fall under any of those categories, you cannot be arrested without a warrant. Moreover, law enforcement officers are not allowed to make arrests while in civil clothes or without proper validation. Knowing laws as such will help you from being misled by kidnappers.
Getting kidnapped, unlike what the movies suggest, is no adventure, and it isn't easy to escape. It's better to take preventive steps than to be abducted for whatever reason. Keep the above in mind, and stay safe.

Published: 12:00 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

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