Natascha Kampusch was abducted by a stranger at the age of 10 on her way to school. She was held captive in an underground dungeon for eight years. When she escaped, her kidnapper committed suicide hours later. She has emerged a remarkable young woman: smart, articulate, strong, and making thoughtful choices about her life. She recently published a memoir of the experience, “3096 Days,” which is reportedly very good.
Yet she has been depicted in the Austrian media as “odd” or worse. In an interview on the BBC, journalist Jon Ronson talks about her cruel portrayal in the Austrian media.
He said, “Everybody wanted her to be this beautiful child from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale… speaking emotionally about her ordeal. In fact she did the opposite, she intellectualised it.” She has even received hate mail from the Austrian public, stating that she “must have liked it in the dungeon,” “being in the dungeon was good for her,” and “she should go back to the dungeon.
Is it not enough that Natasha suffered at the hands of her captor? I am in awe that she had the strength of character to survive. The fact that she has thought deeply about her experience shows how smart she is. But since she is female, this is not an appropriate response. I guess it’s #HFSF.
Susan, Orange County, California