Text of Statement by Austria Abduction Victim

Excerpts of a statement issued Monday by Natascha Kampusch, the young Austrian woman who escaped last week after being held by a kidnapper for more than eight years, translated from German by The Associated Press:


Dear Journalists, Reporters,

Dear General Public,

I am definitely aware of what a strong impression the events of the past few days have made on all of you. I can well imagine how shocking and intimidating the thought must be that something like this can even be possible.

I am also aware that you have a certain curiosity towards me and of course want to know more specific details about the circumstances surrounding how I lived. I want to assure you ahead of time that I don't want to, and won't, answer any questions about intimate or personal details. I will punish breaches of personal boundaries, whoever crosses voyeuristic boundaries. Whoever tries that better prepare themselves for something. I grew up to become a young lady with an interest in education and also human needs.

The living space:

My room was sufficiently equipped. It was my room. And not meant to be shown to the public.

Daily life:

This occurred in a well-ordered manner, often a common breakfast — since he (her captor) mostly didn't work — housework, reading, watching television, talking, cooking. That was it, for years. Everything tied to the fear of loneliness.

About the relationship:

He was not my master. I was just as strong but, symbolically speaking, he carried me with his hands and kicked me with his feet. (An Austrian expression meaning at times he treated her very well and at other times very badly.) But he and I both knew that he picked the wrong one to have an argument with. He carried out the kidnapping by himself. Everything was already prepared. Together with me he then prepared the room, which was not just 1.6 meters high.

Incidentally, I didn't cry after the escape. There was no reason to mourn. In my eyes, his death would not have been necessary. It would certainly have been a punishment, not the end of the world. He was a part of my life. That's why I'm mourning for him in a certain way. It's true of course that my youth was different to that of some others but in principle, I don't have the feeling that I missed out on something. I was spared some things, didn't start smoking and drinking and didn't have any bad friends.

Message to the media:

The only thing the press should spare me from is the endless slandering of my being, the misinterpretations, the know-all manner and the lack of respect towards me.

Presently, I feel well at the place I'm at now, maybe a little bit patronized. I decided only to have telephone contact with my family. I will decide for myself when I'll establish contact with journalists.

About my escape:

When I was supposed to clean and vacuum the car in the garden, he distanced himself during the noise of the vacuum. That was my chance, I just left the vacuum running.

In addition, I never called him master, even though that's what he wanted. I think he wanted it — to be called that — but didn't seriously mean it.

Intimate questions:

Everyone always wants to ask me intimate questions. That's nobody's business. Maybe I'll tell a therapist one day or someone when I feel the need to. Or maybe never. The intimacy only belongs to me ...

I'm linked to Wolfgang's mother through feelings of empathy. ... I and both of us think of him. I want to also thank all the people who are so greatly taking part in my fate. Please leave me alone for the coming while. ... Many people are taking care of me. Give me time until I can give my own account.

CountryWatch: Austria