Diane Sawyer's interview with Jaycee Dugard extraordinarily compelling
- on July 18, 2011
It was last week, so if you haven't checked it out yet, it's worth it. Dugard did the interview to mark the debut of her book, "A Stolen Life", about her kidnapping and 18-year captivity, from which she was freed two years ago. According to the post on ABCNews.com, the book is an "unflinching look at the horror" she endured, and how she coped to survive.
"Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can't scare you anymore," she told Sawyer. "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," Dugard said.
As her therapist said in the interview, Dugard has surrounded herself with great support from her family and her community, and is doing all the right things to recover from the years that she was held captive.
You can watch the whole interview, or the parts.
A sidebar about how to protect hour children from child abductors did not do enough to put child abuse and abduction into context, however. There were a couple of points in this post that provided useful context -- that it's important to know with whom your child interacts, because abductors or exploiters are not strangers. "Parents should know all those who interact with their children, from coaches to teachers to the person who runs their after school program," the post says. But the post missed the opportunity to point out that most children are abused by their family members, and it's mostly men who do the abusing (or exploiting, as the ABC post calls it) -- a father, stepfather, grandfather, uncle -- who themselves were likely to have been abused, in the unbroken circle that is the current state of our efforts to reduce child sex abuse.
It's a very difficult thing to talk about, but if we don't, we'll never resolve it in a way that truly protects our children, and we'll continue to have children who grow up to risk becoming perpetrators, married to perpetrators or unwittingly exposing themselves to risk of further abuse.