Jaycee Dugard and her mother were honored at the Hope Awards gala in Washington, D.C. Dugard was kidnapped in California and held for 18 years by her captor. She and her mother spoke during the ceremony, expressing relief that three Ohio women escaped from their abductor earlier this week.
Jaycee was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in 1991, when she was 11 years old. She was held captive in the Garrido’s back yard, which was outfitted with tents, sheds, and fencing. While in captivity, Jaycee was subjected to physical and sexual abuse. She eventually gave birth to two children as a result of repeated rape.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Jaycee was rescued in 2009. Phillip Garrido and his wife plead guilty to charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. He will spend the rest of his life in prison, Nancy was sentenced to a minimum of 36 years.
The Ohio case brought back painful memories for Jaycee Dugard and her mother, but they are both happy that the women managed to escape. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were all kidnapped in the Cleveland area nearly 10 years ago.
It was announced earlier this week that all three girls were found alive, in the home of Ariel Castro. As reported by CNN, authorities have confirmed that the three girls were bound with ropes and chains as they were held captive in Castro’s home.
Jaycee Dugard’s mother can relate to the families of the three Ohio women. She mentioned their escape in her Hope Awards Gala speech:
“Another miracle happened yesterday and three girls are alive and I feel the same joy and relief I felt when Jaycee was returned to me after 18 hellish years… We must never lose hope. Keeping hope alive is what got me through the 18 years.”
If anyone can begin to understand what the three Ohio women went through, Jaycee Dugard might. She had three years to readjust to a life of freedom. Amanda, Gina, and Michelle are just beginning their recovery.