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Story Of Girl Who Was Raped, Tortured By Parents Takes Surprising Turn

One woman was tortured and raped for years as a little girl. As she tried to heal from the devastating wounds, she had a turbulent time. Now that she's found her bearings, she hopes to one day help others who suffered as she did.

Lauren Kavanaugh was only three years old when her abusive stepfather and mother began forcing her to live in a small closet. The 4-by-9-foot space was Lauren's entire world-- it's where she slept. It's where she ate (if she could get anything to eat). It's where she defecated. It's where she spent her days in pitch blackness.

Lauren lived in that closet, only leaving it to be tortured and raped. She was finally discovered by a neighbor at age eight and rescued from her nightmarish life.

Lauren weighed 25 pounds when she was found. She required a number of surgeries due to her organs starting to shut down. Her mother, Barbara Atkinson, and her stepfather, Kenny Atkinson, were convicted of felony injury to a child and sentenced to life in prison. She was adopted by a loving couple. But the nightmares weren't over.

Lauren still had devastating scars. She was developmentally delayed and traumatized by her experiences. She continued to sleep in a closet. Because she had no memory of ever seeing grass before, she thought it was biting her feet. Every bath she was terrified that she would be drowned.

As she got older, the troubled youth got into fights, harmed herself and attempted suicide. Sometimes the memories would come back and be so painful that she would have seizures-- her body's way of attempting to block the thoughts. For a while, it looked like Lauren would never recover.

Then she began attending an alternative school. Meeting other abuse survivors gave her strength. She knew she was not alone. Therapy helped her start to heal. In time, she was able to wean off medication and learned coping skills.

Now, Lauren lives in her own apartment and goes to college. "My dream now is to qualify as a counsellor - I really want to help victims like me to overcome their abuse and be strong," she said to the Daily Mail. "I've been in their shoes and come out the other side."

Source: Mail Online
Photo: Mail Online

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