NEW YORK – Kidnapping survivor Jaycee Dugard, who first made national headlines three years ago, said in a TV interview that she plans to live in seclusion with her daughters until they are mature enough to understand what happened to them.
Dugard, 31, and her two girls, ages 14 and 17, have been living at an undisclosed California location since being found by authorities in 2009 – 18 years after Dugard was abducted from a South Lake Tahoe bus stop.
She was held by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in their Antioch backyard, where she gave birth to the two children conceived by rape.
In an interview that aired Tuesday night, Dugard told ABC News she’s spent the past three years healing and experiencing life with her family.
“I want my girls to have a normal life as much as possible,” she told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. “I feel like on some things I have to do it a little bit differently … not be recognized … for their sake.
“I think in time as they get older, they’ll know how to deal with it better, and that would be the time that we would come out,” she said.
Dugard has been working to build the JAYC Foundation, which aims to support families dealing with abduction and other tragedies. She wrote a best-selling memoir last year, “A Stolen Life,” which recounts her years in captivity.
Dugard was raised in Orange County, but her parents moved to Lake Tahoe nine months before her kidnapping to escape crime and other urban problems.
Dugard also made her first public appearance last weekend at a star-studded New York awards ceremony held by fashion designer and humanitarian Diane von Furstenberg.
She was introduced at the Friday ceremony by Oprah Winfrey, another honoree of the night.
“Jaycee Dugard, I am so proud of you, your courage, your ability to press onward toward the future and toward a more victorious life for yourself and for using your courage, your strength, and your power to show the world that you care,” Winfrey said.
Phillip Garrido is serving a 431-year prison sentence, and Nancy Garrido is serving 36 years to life, after both struck plea deals on kidnapping and rape charges. The state of California paid Dugard a $20 million settlement under which officials acknowledged repeated mistakes were made by parole agents responsible for monitoring Phillip Garrido, who was a convicted rapist.
During the TV interview, Sawyer asked Dugard if either of the Garridos had tried to contact her.
“No, not at all, which is fine with me,” Dugard said.
Sawyer then asked Dugard if she has days when she doesn’t think about what happened to her.
Dugard replied, “Oh, sure. It’s not with me every day.”
Asked if anyone has caught her eye romantically, Dugard said, “No, no, I just, I can’t go there yet. It’s too soon.”