SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bay Area kidnapping survivor Jaycee Dugard says the women who went missing about a decade ago and were found at a Cleveland home need the opportunity to heal and reconnect with the world.

In a statement released Tuesday through her publicist, Dugard said “This isn’t who they are. It is only what happened to them.”

The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More than ever this reaffirms we should never give up hope,” she said.

In a story eerily similar to the Cleveland case, Dugard was abducted from a South Lake Tahoe bus stop in 1991 at the age of 11 and held captive for 18 years in the backyard of an Antioch home, where she gave birth to two children conceived by rape.

She wrote a best-selling memoir in 2011, “A Stolen Life,” which recounts her years in captivity.

Police in Cleveland said the three women who vanished a decade ago were found Monday. Authorities later arrested three brothers, ages 50 to 54. Authorities suspect the women were tied up and held at the house.

Dugard was to be honored at a gala in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night for her work in supporting kidnapping victims and their families.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was giving Dugard its Hope Award, meant to honor individuals, organizations and law enforcement agencies for outstanding efforts in preventing the victimization of children, according to the organization.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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