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Lydia Gouardo (born November 13, 1962) is a French woman, born in Maisons-Alfort, Val-de-Marne, who was imprisoned for 28 years, raped, and tortured by her stepfather, Raymond Gouardo, in their home in Meaux and Coulommes in Seine et Marne. The abuse took place from 1971 to 1999.
Lydia gave birth to six children, all by her stepfather. During her imprisonment, she escaped and phoned legal aid, but her stepfather recaptured her in a family residence in Melun. She was finally freed in 1999 when her stepfather died. Abuse took place from when she was eight years old.
Lydia claimed to have run away from her stepfather when he hit her too hard but was always brought back by the police when she was a minor. She claimed to have not realized that the abuse was unusual. She bears the scars of her torture from her neck to her ankles from where her captor burned her with boiling water and hydrochloric acid. She still lives in the same house with the attic where she was locked up in, however she does not venture up there anymore.
She wrote a book about her story, Le silence des autres (The Silence of Others), with the French journalist and writer Jean-Michel Caradec'h in 2008. She admitted that it was the worldwide news of the Fritzl case that made her talk; she described being behind shutters. She also said she wanted to be friends with Elisabeth Fritzl because she would feel less alone and she could support her. Gouardo believes the world "ignored her ordeal" as an incest and abuse victim. In her book she criticizes the media and authorities for neglecting her case, if it weren't for the Fritzl case.
Her stepmother was convicted in a closed-door trial for failure to report the crimes she was aware of and for sexual abuse against one of Lydia's children, and was given a four-year suspended jail sentence.
Police also suspect Raymond Gouardo of being implicated in the murder of four other girls in the Paris area in 1987. DNA tests on one of the victims have not shown any link with Gouardo and other evidence is circumstantial.
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- "French Woman Reveals Incest Ordeal". Sky News. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
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- "European 'Fritzl's': Slovenian, Pole, Frenchman…". dalje.com. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
- De Larquier, Ségolène (29 April 2008). "En France, le drame de Lydia, torturée et six fois enceinte de son père, actualité Société - Le Point". www.lepoint.fr (in French). Retrieved 2015-06-21.
- De Laguerie, Henry (6 May 2008). "Abusée par son père pendant 30 ans, Lydia avait révélé son calvaire sur RTL" (in French). Retrieved 2015-06-21.
- « Condamnée pour avoir nié les viols de sa fille », Le Parisien, 13 March 2007.(in French)
- "Lydia Gouardo: Jaycee Lee Dugard "a intérêt à être solide"". World News (in French). 28 August 2009. Retrieved 2015-06-21.