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In terms of criminal law, kidnapping refers to the forcible detention of a person against their will, which frequently involves transportation or assault. The asportation and abduction component is frequently, but not always, carried out through force or fear: the perpetrator may use a weapon to force the victim into a vehicle, but it is still kidnapping if the victim is persuaded to join the vehicle voluntarily (e.g. in the belief that it is a taxicab).
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Kidnapping a child is referred to as child abduction, which is a different legal classification.
1. Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to any suspicious people or activities.
2. Avoid walking or jogging alone or in isolated places.
3. Be cautious when traveling alone in unfamiliar places.
4. If you feel uncomfortable in a particular place, leave immediately.
5. Make sure to lock your doors and windows when at home or in a hotel.
6. Do not carry large amounts of cash or valuable items with you.
7. Avoid talking to strangers and do not accept rides from them.
8. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
9. Carry a cell phone with you and make sure you have access to emergency services.
10. If you are kidnapped, remain calm, remember any details you can, and look for an opportunity to escape.
If you were to be a victim, hostage and kidnap survivors can experience stress reactions including denial, impaired memory, shock, numbness, anxiety, guilt, depression, anger, and a sense of helplessness. Freedom almost always brings a sense of elation and relief.
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