Little Girl Who Lived for 6 Years in Closet Grows Up to Inspire Us All

A young woman who lived her early years held captive in a closet and was brutally abused has miraculously managed to overcome her nightmarish childhood to help other victims of child abuse. Lauren Kavanaugh, now 21, of Athens, Texas, was kept in a closet from the age of 3 to 8 by her mother and stepfather. She was starved and subjected to abuse so horrific that most her organs began shutting down.


Kavanaugh, who was put into the small closet at 3 years old, was only rescued after her parents took her out to show her to a neighbor, who quickly called police. At the time she was found, she was 8 but weighed only 25 pounds and was so malnourished she had a distended stomach.

The brave young woman says that her mother and stepfather would periodically pull her out of the closet, but only to rape her -- and they would blare music to drown out her screams. The closet was dark, and she would go to the bathroom in it. The closet's carpet was wet with urine and she only had a thin, wet blanket for comfort.

She says that she was tortured with lit cigarettes and starved to the point where she could hardly move.

She says her parents left her siblings alone and they were allowed to roam free. But apparently this isn't so odd. In another case of a girl who was kept in a closet, her siblings too were allowed to live a normal life, despite her being locked up for two years. It's not unusual for child abusers to concentrate the majority, if not all, of their abuse on one sibling.

Rushed to a hospital after her discovery, Kavanaugh was outfitted with a colonoscopy bag and her organs began shutting down. Staff had to feed her in a manner originally designed for Holocaust victims. Her little body was so abused, she also needed several surgeries.

Kavanaugh's mother and stepfather were sentenced to life in prison.

Horrifically, this terrible abuse could have been avoided. Kavanaugh was originally adopted at birth by a loving couple. However, eight months after the adoption, they were forced to give her back when Kavanaugh's mother changed her mind and it turned out their lawyer had mistakenly never filed important papers severing her parental rights.

Torn from the arms of the couple she'd known since birth, and flung back to a mother who never wanted her, Kavanaugh was about to begin her years of pure hell. They would last until she was 8.

After her recovery in the hospital, however, Kavanaugh was re-adopted by the couple. This time, Kavanaugh was incredibly traumatized. She would even go into seizures trying to block out gut-wrenching memories. But the couple never gave up on her.

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Eventually, she went to a special school for abuse survivors and that was the turning point.

Kavanaugh now studies psychology at college and wants to help others like herself. What an amazing tale of strength and fortitude. Bless Lauren and her family. She deserves all the happiness in the world.

For more of Lauren Kavanaugh's story, read her Facebook page.


Image via The Lauren Kavanaugh Story/Facebook

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