I remember being captivated when I first heard about this story. An 11 year old girl named Jaycee Dugard went missing in 1991, and was found 18 years later at the age of 29. She had been kidnapped, raped and tortured for all that time by Phillip Garrido, who was also aided by his wife Nancy. Jaycee gave birth to 2 girls during her time of captivity. Yet, her Mother never gave up hope, and neither did Jaycee.
It broke my heart to think that she had 18 years stolen away from her and suffered all of that abuse. Yet, when you read Jaycee's book and see her talk in person, you are amazed at how she not only survived those years, but is now thriving. In the past, when I have heard about stories similar to this, I was always sad because my belief was that they could never lead a normal life. Jaycee Dugard proves that not to be true.
A Stolen Life was painful to read at times because of the horrors that Jaycee lived through at such a young age. It also saddens me that she lost so much of her life. But I was amazed at how resilient she has become. Her strength is inspiring.
She did a great job writing this book, and I found it to be a compelling story. She is very brave, and says that she wrote it to so that victims would have a voice. She also hopes that it will help reform the justice system which failed her so badly. Phillip Garrido was a sex offender and a drug addict on parole, and yet somehow during all of his visits from parole officers, they never found Jaycee or her girls, who were located in his back yard. Here is what the state of California did for her:
In July 2010, the State of California approved a $20 million settlement with Jaycee Dugard, to compensate her for "various lapses by the Corrections Department [which contributed to] Dugard's continued captivity, ongoing sexual assault and mental and/or physical abuse."
Jaycee has started a wonderful foundation, The JAYC Foundation. The foundation helps families like Jaycee's after they escape and reunite with their family members.
Jaycee Dugard was awarded a "Lifetime Leadership" honor at the third annual Diane von Furstenberg awards on March 9, 2012 for her courage and her JAYC Foundation which gives support to families dealing with abduction and other tragedies. The DVF awards honor women who are courageous and fight for justice. --Oprah and Jaycee Dugard honored at the DVF awardsI can't think of anyone who deserves that award more than Jaycee. May God bless her and her family and her foundation!