A Stolen Life
For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.
For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.
On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived.
A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it.
The pine cone is a symbol that represents the seed of a new beginning for me. To help facilitate new beginnings, with the support of animal-assisted therapy, the J A Y C Foundation provides support and services for the timely treatment of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences—families like my own who need to learn how to heal. In addition, the J A Y C Foundation hopes to facilitate awareness in schools about the important need to care for one another.
Our motto is “Just Ask Yourself to . . . Care!”
A portion of my proceeds from this memoir will be donated to The J A Y C Foundation Inc.
Reading Group Guide
“Ask yourself, ‘What would you do to survive?’” When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old, she was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. For more than eighteen years, Dugard was held captive by Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy. Dugard depended on the Garridos for everything, but she never lost hope of being reunited with her family. After she became a mom herself, Dugard knew she could never leave her daughters behind, even if that meant a lifetime in captivity.
On August 26, 2009, Phillip Garrido showed up for a meeting with his parole officer; he brought Dugard, her two daughters, and Nancy with him. After eighteen years without saying her own name, Dugard revealed her identity to the authorities. An investigation led to the complex of shacks and tents in the Garridos’ backyard where Dugard had been kept for nearly two decades.
In her own plainspoken words, Dugard shares a chronological account from the time of her abduction in 1991 to her rescue in 2009 and opens up about what she experienced—offering an extrao see more