Jaycee Dugard endured an abduction and 18 years of sexual slavery at the hands of Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
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Now, the 31-year-old Californian has written a memoir, “A Stolen Life,” detailing her ordeal.
In the book, set for release July 12, Dugard vividly describes the years of sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Garrido since being kidnapped at age 11 at a school bus stop on June 10, 1991 — and the moment, three years later, that she first realized he had impregnated her.
“Easter Sunday 1994,” she writes. “Phillip says there is something he needs to talk to me about. He and Nancy have noticed that I’d been putting on weight and waddling instead of walking. I said I know.
“They said, ‘We think you may be pregnant. I was stunned and scared…how can I possibly raise a baby in this place?”Story: Mom of missing coed: ‘It’s like having your heart ripped out’
That baby was the first of two children, now ages 16 and 13, she had by him.
While kept concealed behind the Garrido’s home in Antioch, Cal., Dugard recalls first being physically restrained to keep her from running to freedom. The emotional restraints came next.
“Phillip gave me this image of the world as a scary place made up of pedophiles and rapists…one of the reasons I stayed was I wanted my kids to be safe,” she writes.Video: Jaycee Dugard tells of horrific ordeal (on this page)
The book, highlighted on TODAY Thursday and excerpted in next week’s issue of People magazine, hits stores a month after Dugard’s captors faced their crimes in court; Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 413 years in prison and his wife was sentenced to 35 years to life.
Dugard recalls her first night as a captive, when Phillip Garrido forced the young girl to shower with him.Slideshow: Captive’s tale (on this page)
“My silent tears became giant sobs….the man looks like he doesn’t know how to respond; he tells me to calm down, that he is not going to do anything more to me today,” Dugard writes. “The man takes me in his arms and offers comfort. I do not want comfort from this awful man.”
She adds: “He brought in a bucket for me to use as a toilet. I would ask him every day when he was going to let me go home.”
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On August 29, 2009, police nabbed the Garridos, finally freeing her from a living nightmare. Questioned by a policewoman, Jaycee reveals, she was frightened to even utter her real name, instead writing it down.Story: Teen victim of mob beating: ‘I don’t know about forgiveness’
“It was like breaking an evil spell,” Dugard writes. “I looked at her and said, ‘I can see my mom?’ She said, ‘Yes!’"
Dugard issued a public statement at the Garridos’ sentencing, saying, “You stole my life. Thankfully I am doing well now and no longer live in a nightmare. I have wonderful friends and family around me. Something you can never take from me again. You do not matter anymore.” Now, with the release of her book, experts say, the young woman is coming to terms with her ordeal.Story: Giffords, astronaut husband get memoir deal
“She gets to put an end to this very dark passage,” Dr. Astrid Heppenstall Heger, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at USC and Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Program at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, told TODAY. “There are no secrets. It’s all out on the table.”
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