Jaycee Dugard: Three Answered Questions On Everyone's Mind

Jaycee Dugard found after 18 years with convicted rapist Phillip Garrido. This was the headline of the past week’s breaking news. Certainly this was a shock to her family and to the rest of the nation. In the Jaycee Dugard case, as well as with Elizabeth Smart and Shawn Hornbeck cases, there are three common questions that people ask:

1) How does Jaycee Dugard reunite with her family?When reuniting with her family, Jaycee and the rest of the family have to keep in mind that this may be a slower process. Her family has to keep in mind that 18 years have passed and a lot has happened during those 18 years. They need patience and show compassion toward Jaycee, knowing that she may not be ready to share everything that had happened right away. This may take some time. She also now has two daughters of her own, who are very limited in what they know.Therefore, reuniting should be as stress- free and as low-key as possible.2) Why Jaycee Dugard did not try to escape Phillip Garrido?There are many reasons of why someone chooses not to escape. One reason is called “learned helplessness”. Whether there is an actual threat or the threat is simply perceived to be there, it may have a negative effect on you. Feeling like you have no control over the situation, you become powerless in your own mind, giving yourself to the captor, believing there is nothing else you can do.Another reason called “traumatic bonding” means that the kidnapped victim can develop an emotional tie to the captor. You may think that this is crazy. How can the kidnapped person develop an emotional tie to someone that is abusing him/her? The explanation is simple. The relationship is not completely abusive. The captor also shows kindness and compassion, developing a bond with the victim. That way he will be able to extort greater control over the victim in the future and the attempts of the victim trying to fight back will become less and less. This can explain why the victim may seem unable or unwilling to attempt an escape.3) Can Jaycee Dugard have a normal life again?The answer is YES! Think back to the story of Elizabeth Smart. She was found nine months after she was taken from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah and now lives a normal life as a university student and political activist. Therefore, a kidnapped person can have a normal life again with the right support system and healthy coping mechanisms to get them moving in the right direction.The cases of Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart and Shawn Hornbeck all can provide hope to other parents of missing children that one day they can be found. Unfortunately, not all cases have happy endings, such as the cases of Adam Walsh and Megan Kanka. However, as a result of the tragic loss of their lives, we have “Megan’s Law” which requires all sex offenders to register when they move to a new neighborhood and we have America’s Most Wanted, whose host John Walsh is passionate about helping put criminals behind bars.NOTE: You can freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the author's contact information below intact.

About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, MS offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on Facebook or Twitter