'Survivor mentality': Kidnapping victim's viral TikTok videos show how to escape abduction

Kidnapping victim @ kararobinsonchamberlain on TIkTok
The kidnapping victim uses her traumatic past to help others. Photo credit: TikTok/@ kararobinsonchamberlain.

Warning: This story contains details of abduction and sexual assault which may be triggering to some readers. 

If, like me, you listen to true crime podcasts religiously and forever think about what you would do in a life-threatening situation, you're going to want to follow this kidnapping survivor turned TikTok star. 

US woman Kara Robinson Chamberlain was just 15 when she was abducted at gunpoint outside her friend's house by serial killer Richard Evonitz. 

According to the Independent, she was placed in a plastic container in the back of his car and taken back to his apartment where he sexually assaulted her repeatedly for 18 hours. 

In a 2018 interview with Crime Watch Daily, Chamberlain said she kept alert and cognisant throughout her ordeal, gathering as much information as she could about her attacker. When he eventually went to sleep, she managed to escape and ran out onto the road, getting the attention of a passing motorist who took her to the local police station. 

She later learned Evonitz was a serial killer who had already murdered three young women. 

Now a motivational seeker and mother of two young sons, Chamberlain has amassed over 180,000 followers on social media app TikTok, with her lessons on how to escape capture and cultivate "survivor mentality".

In one of her latest videos, Chamberlain advises on how to escape from restraints. She reveals the handcuffs used on her were too big for her wrists, so she was able to manoeuvre a hand out, but if your wrists are tied with zip ties you can break out of them. 

She also revealed what to do in the rare case of a stranger abduction, advising: "If you kick, punch, scream, make a big fuss, chances are they're not going to chase you, especially if you're in a densely populated area." 

Chamberlain discusses her experience with PTSD and trauma on her channel and as well as her life after being found.

Her motto is to "survive and thrive". 

Where to find help and support:

  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)