What People Are Saying
Hostage International helped during Luke’s kidnap, during the time around his death, and now over a year later. As soon as we got in touch, Hostage International were so helpful – and continue to help us. Hostage International even procured a much-needed smartphone during the ordeal and they were available around the clock. The fact that they came to us in the USA meant so much to us – the personal contact is huge. They continue to help us– we know we can call on them for advice.
They also put us in touch with other hostage families. It was very good corresponding with family members who had gone through the same situation. Hostage International gave me the opportunity to connect with others in that way. In whatever way they could help, they did it.
The situation that hostage families find themselves in is one of the worst times of their lives. It is painful and feels surreal. Hostage International were there for us. I would encourage other families in our situation to reach out to them for help.
-Paula Somers, mother of photojournalist Luke Somers, who was kidnapped and killed in Yemen
“My husband, Bob, was taken hostage in Yemen in February 2014. He was held captive for 18 months and thankfully, he was released in August 2015. We have 3 children who were 14, 17 and 21 when we were first told of his kidnap. I know from experience that children and young people suffer when a parent is kidnapped. It can be difficult to know how to communicate what is happening, how best to support them or to understand what they might need from you.
Throughout the time my husband was away, Hostage International was a constant support to us all as a family. They gave us advice on the many challenges we had to face. They supported us during meetings with the British government and with advice on where to go next. For my children they gave independent support if they wished which was immensely helpful and enabled them to continue with their lives tackling school exams and new jobs.
It was helpful for my children to have someone to support them outside the family. Someone to talk to about our worries and concerns. And I was appreciative of their advice on what to do for the best for my children.
Since the return of my husband, Hostage International has continued to support us all through the process of reintegration and the changes in our lives. They are never intrusive but always there when you need them. As a family, we cannot thank them enough.”
– Sallie Semple, wife of Bob Semple, kidnapped in Yemen, released April 2015
I know from personal experience as a hostage that the return home can be a bewildering experience. No matter how long one has been held captive, so much will have changed. Life will have moved on and it may take time to make the necessary readjustments.
At such a time it can be important for both the former hostage and their family to have free access to people who have had a long experience of such matters. Hostage International has been set up to offer support and assistance without any strings attached.
Sometimes, hostages contact us immediately on their release. Others don’t seek support until months or even years later. Hostage International is ready to help whenever it is needed and with a completely confidential service.
-Terry Waite CBE, President and Founder of Hostage International
When I first found out that my brother had been kidnapped in Syria, I thought I would not get through it, the unknown of it all was too overwhelming. All my friends rallied to support and help, and I will be forever grateful to them but no one really understood, no one really knew what to say or do. And how could they? This is such a unique experience that very few people go through
I was then given a number that brought me to Hostage International and the amazing support that stayed with me through the 15 months of my brother’s captivity. It was to me a lifeline, bringing me back from my darkest moments, checking up on me, offering support and comfort and most importantly friendship and love. I was certainly not the only family member being comforted nor, sadly, will I be the last.
-Paola Motka, sister of Federico Motka, kidnapped in Syria, released May 2014