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Hostage-taking - Referat

Hostage - Taking

1. Definition
2. Comparison between kidnapping and hostage-taking
3. Psychological consequences
4 .Stockholm syndrome
5. Surviving tips

Welcome to my presentation about hostage-taking. I want to start with the definition of hostage- taking. Then I want to show you the comparison between kidnapping and hostage-taking. Furthermore I tell you something about psychological consequences and about the Stockholm syndrome and finally Iíll give you some surviving tips.

You talk about hostage-taking if a person deprives a victim of his/its liberty.
Most of the time the victims of an hostage-taking are randomly selected because the committer has to react quickly as he is in danger to get arrested. So most of the time the victims are people who are located at the side of crime. The committer uses them as a means of exerting pressure to speed up his deed to get what he wants and for protecting himself from the police.

Comparison between kidnapping and hostage-taking:
The police talks about hostage-taking if the habitation of the hostages is known to them. In a kidnapping situation only the committer knows where the hostages are. An hostage-taking is unplanned because of the reasons Iíve said at the definition. The committer needs the hostages for protecting and as a means of exerting pressure. But a kidnapping is planed because the kidnapper wants to reach a certain aim by taking hostages for example a release of prisoners, to press ransom or to show his political belief.

Psychological consequences:
As a result of an hostage-taking several consequences could arise.
Short-term consequences are depressions, fear, disorder of concentration and sleep in connection with nightmares as well as feelings of guilt, flashbacks and social withdrawal.
These psychological reactions could develop to long-term mental diseases, for example the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which has the same consequences but they are chronically and could last for some years.
So you can see hostage-taking is an extreme situation of which consequences changes the whole life of every involved person not only of the committer and the hostages but also of the policemen.

Stockholm syndrome:
Another psychological consequence is the Stockholm syndrome which is named by the hostage- taking in 1973 of which Iíve read out the newspaper article at the beginning, where four bank assistants are taking hostage for more then five days.
In spite of all the fear during the hostage-taking people with the Stockholm syndrome feel no hatred against their hostage takers. They become friends with them or even fell in love with them. After the rescue many of these people are more afraid of the police than of the committer and they try to defend him.
The main reason for this is the total lost of control. So the Stockholm syndrome is a natural survival action.
The victim identifies himself with the motives of the hostage taker to make this situation more tolerable for himself. The hostage is put in an infantile and helpless state and he is in danger of death. The hostage feels dependent on the hostage taker like in a parent-child-relationship. The hostage fulfils the desires of the committer as he has the same aim, the wish to survive the situation.

Now I want to play a CD to you with the song Ö of Ö and I hope the song text will make the effects of the Stockholm syndrome clear to you a second time.

Surviving tips:
Now I have some surviving tips for you if you will become an hostage one time. But I hope this wonít happen to you. The most important thing you have to remember in case you become an hostage is that you never should provoke the hostage taker. So remain calm, donít speak unless spoken to and only if necessary and follow all orders, but keep your self-respect. Donít beg, cry or have eye contact because it creates attention to you. You should establish a friendly relation to your hostage taker in order that he treats you as a human being. Keep your mind occupied by gaining information about the hostage taker, the location etc. So that you are distracted and donít think of the worst which could happen. Maintain your will to survive, take interest in your fellow hostages and create group solidarity. You have to remain positive and communicative. Think about release and rescue and what you will do when you return home. Another fact you could remember is that in Germany 69 hostage-takings took place in the last year but the clear-up rate amount to 94 percent and that means there is a big chance that you will be rescued.
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