Jaycee Dugard Opens Up About Giving Birth in Captivity

Filed under: In The News

Jaycee Dugard was an 11-year-old fifth grader in 1991 when she was abducted by Phillip and Nancy Garrido at a bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

She spent the next 18 years as Phillip Garrido's sex slave, giving birth to the first of two children at age 14 in a makeshift backyard prison.

Interviewed by ABC News (airing Sunday, July 10, at 9 p.m.), Dugard tells Diane Sawyer the pregnancy was a horrifying experience.

She knew nothing about sex before being kidnapped. She didn't even realize at first she was pregnant. She knew she was putting on weight but didn't know why. Her captors eventually told her she was pregnant. She watched videos on childbirth, horrified and fearing that she would get no medical attention from anyone but the Garridos.

The terror melted away when she saw her newborn daughter, she tells Sawyer.

"She was beautiful," Dugard says in the interview. "I felt like I wasn't alone anymore. I had somebody else who was mine. I wasn't alone."

Dugard gave birth to another daughter in 1997. She educated her children, ABC reports, creating a school in the compound to teach them as much as she could with only a fifth-grade education.

In a video posted on ABC's website, Sawyer says she found interviewing Dugard an amazing experience. "I am pausing because I do not know what to say to tell everyone the true depth of our reaction and our emotions interviewing this young woman and hearing her story," she says.

"She brings such spirit to the room," Sawyer adds. "I think that's the simple light that you see in the room when she walks in. And we were all imaginging that some of it had been at least dimmed if not extinguished One of the unheralded components of being a survivor and able to surive is finding meaning in the day no matter what you are going through."

Sawyer says Dugard is clearly still processing the experience and how she managed to survive for 18 years. "I don't know ... I mean, I can't imagine being beaten to death, you know? And you can't imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know? So, it's just ... you do what you have to do to survive," the kidnapping victim says.

Dugard, rescued in 2009, has written a book about her experience titled "A Stolen Life." Her story has a message, Sawyer says: "The best redemption of a horrible experience is to live and love your life."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.