‘I’m not trying to understand my abduction’

Conducting an interview with Natascha Kampusch is a quite difficult endeavor. You know you must tread gently with the 22-year-old, who in March 1998 was abducted at the age of 10 and held in a secret cellar for more than eight years before escaping.

And so, you ought to weigh your words carefully, not knowing if and when you might cross the line defined by the blond woman.

First rule: She wants to be called “Ms. Kampusch,” which is what people in Austria call a girl who has turned 16. Calling her Natascha would be too familiar — even impertinent — to a person who spent her late childhood and teenage years cut off from the outside world.

For 3,096 days, her kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, kept her in a 15-square-foot cellar in a town 15 miles east of Vienna. During that time, he was her only human contact. Their exchanges were not conversations: They served as a constant reminder of her submission.

Since Aug. 23, 2006, the day she escaped, Kampusch has been seeing medical trauma experts. In Paris for the promotion for her autobiographical account, “3,096 Days,” she has been accompanied by both a psychologist and a therapist.

“They are very important to me, they help me to rebuild my life, to understand who I am,” she told a room full of journalists.

For a long time, she asked herself questions like “Why me?” and “Why did he do that to me?”

“Nowadays, I’m not trying to understand anymore,” she says.

Many questions will remain unanswered — Priklopil committed suicide a few hours after she escaped.

However, Kampusch is adamant about not lingering in the past and living life now.

“I cannot change what happened anyway,” she says, “[I want to] open a new chapter of my life.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

Movies

Review: Desert-walking movie 'Tracks' would be better as…

Mia Wasikowska walks 1700 miles across Australia's deserts in "Tracks," in a story that defies triumph-of-the-spirit cliches but gets some of them anyway.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…