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Kidnapped Austrian girl Natascha had to grow up without female influence

<p>Imagine growing up without any female guidance whatsoever. No mother, no sisters, no aunts, grandmothers or female cousins. Not even any girlfriends.</p>

Adolescence a tricky time without women


Imagine growing up without any female guidance whatsoever. No mother, no sisters, no aunts, grandmothers or female cousins. Not even any girlfriends.


In the real world that would be virtually impossible — even if you only lived with your dad and say, one brother.


We all walk out of our homes at some point during the day, visit with people, go to school and do extracurricular activities where both sexes exist.


But what if, like Natascha Kampusch from Austria, you were secluded from the outside world and had absolutely no contact with any females. Natascha was abducted in 1998, at the tender age of 10, as she walked to school in Vienna, Austria. For the next eight years, Natascha lived in an underground windowless dungeon, six metres squared, only accessible through a steel door under the garage belonging to her captor, a male communications technician.


This young girl has had to endure an experience none of us should ever have to go through. It’s only been a week since she managed to escape from her captor and flee to a neighbour’s garden where she identified herself, and there is still a lot of information yet to be revealed. And we may never know all the facts, especially since Natascha appears to be suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome,” a psychological condition where captives begin to identify with their captors.


But what we do know is that this young lady grew up without any female influence during the most crucial time of her life. Imagine going through the normal life changes from a 10-year-old girl, whose favourite plaything was a little toy car, through the important years of adolescence and puberty — getting your period for the first time, growing breasts, getting hair in places you never had it before — all without a woman to explain what’s happening and support you through it.


It seems her captor did not treat her like an animal, hooking up running water and toilet facilities for Natascha’s use, allowing her books, radio, a bed and some occasional TV, which hopefully kept her from total isolation through these strange years.


While this is truly an exceptionally sad tale, it helps us stop for a moment and be grateful for the women in our lives.



letters@metronews.ca


 
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