Frequently Asked Questions

Kidnapping is a low-frequency, high-impact crime, which means that information can be difficult to find. Drawing on the experiences of the families we have helped, we have put together some frequently asked questions to help you to understand what might happen and where to go for help. This information is provided for guidance only; each kidnap is unique so there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Hostage International has produced a series of ‘how to guides’ to help families to cope with a kidnap. These include:
A family’s guide to coping during a kidnapping;
A family’s guide to handling the media;
A Life After Captivity guide;
and a guide for employers on helping returning hostages back to the workplace.

Hostage International supports families and returning hostages when they have been affected by a kidnapping, usually outside of their home country, typically for a political or monetary concession. If your loved one has been kidnapped in another scenario, let us know and we will try and signpost you to a more suitable support organisation.

Hostage International does not engage in operational response to kidnaps. We cannot help to bring a hostage home, but we can offer support to help make the situation a little more bearable and to assist with the emotional and practical challenges.

Hostage International is a working name of Hostage International, a charity registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales (number 1161072). We are independent of government and business interests. Our commitment is to the families and hostages affected by a kidnapping. As a small charity, we aim to keep our overheads low, so we work remotely where possible. We have two full-time member of staff; the rest of our services are delivered by volunteers. Our focus is on supporting families and hostages and improving organisational family support. As a result, Hostage’s growth is demand-led; we are not driven by organisational ambition.

Hostage International is a confidential service. We do not speak publicly or privately about who we are supporting, we do not report on conversations, and we neither deny nor confirm cases we are involved in, either now or in the past. Families are welcome to speak about us and the support they have received from us, but we will not identify our beneficiaries by name in any public context.

Hostage International rarely comments in or on the media. We focus our time and attention on supporting families and returning hostages and will only comment in the media where we feel there is an important need for it.

Hostage International supports families regardless of their location or origin. However, American residents should seek support from our sister charity, Hostage US and families based in the UK can refer to Hostage UK Hostage International.

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.