A California woman kidnapped as a schoolgirl and repeatedly raped over 18 years in captivity described graphic details of her ordeal, in a first ever TV interview aired on Sunday on ABC.
Jaycee Dugard, who was 11 when she was seized and kept in a back yard compound by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in 1991, described how she gave birth to two daughters of her own, and how that helped her survive. Giving birth, alone in a backyard and aged 14, was the most painful experience of her life, she said, describing her thoughts about when she first saw her baby daughter.
“She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn't alone anymore. (I) had somebody else who was mine…and I know I could never let anything happen to her. I didn't know how I was going to do that, but I did,” she told ABC news.
Phillip Garrido was given a prison sentence of 431 years in June, while his wife was jailed for 36 years to life, after the pair agreed a plea bargain over the crimes which shocked America and the world. Dugard, whose book about her ordeal “A Stolen Life” is published this
week, said the process of recounting her ordeal in full, harrowing detail has helped liberate her mentally.
“Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can't scare you anymore. I didn't want there to be any more secrets…I hadn't done anything wrong. It wasn't something I did that caused this to happen. And I feel that by putting it all out there, it's very freeing,” she added.
She describes the moment she was kidnapped, while walking to school from her home in South Lake Tahoe, California on June 10, 1991 as “like the most horrible moment of your life times ten”. Describing how she coped with the repeated rapes to which she was subjected, she said: “There's a switch that I had to shut off. I mean, I can't imagine being beaten to death. And you can't imagine being kidnapped and raped. So, it's just, you just do what you have to do to survive.”
She recalled her rescue in August 2009, she said,”The light came back … it was very dark for so long … but that light finally came back on,” she said.