I Choose to live by Sabine Dardenne

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This book is Sabine Dardenne’s memoir. Here she tells the world what she went through from the time she was kidnapped on 25th May 1996 till after her kidnapper, Marc Dutroux got convicted. He was known as Belgium’s monster, the most hated man in Belgium.

First he was sentenced to 13 years for raping two kids and got released after three years for good behaviour. While he was on parole, he was obligated to see a psychiatrist and was given Rohypnol, commonly known as the “date rape” drug but he secreted the pills in his cheeks only to use it to sedate his later victims, of which Sabine has been one.

So at the age of 12, Sabine was cycling on her way to school when she was kidnapped by Marc Dutroux. He drugged her and drove her hours away from her home. He held her captive for 87 days and sexually abused and raped her almost every day. She was fed mouldy bread, biscuits and milk and locked up in a tiny room.

Dutroux got caught when he decided to get Sabine a “friend” named Leticia. But little did he know there were witnesses to Leticia’s kidnapping and this led to the arrest of Marc Dutroux and the discovery of Sabine Dardenne.

It took seven years for the case to come to trial and Marc Dutroux was found guilty of kidnapping six girls and murdering 4. His wife got a sentence of 23 years imprisonment as an accomplice.

In Sabine’s early twenties, she decided to write this book. This was a way to help her heal and help her put this ordeal behind her.

I can’t even imagine what she had to go through as a twelve year old. I easily felt hatred and disgust towards Marc Dutroux and I felt sad for Sabine, the little Sabine, who has lost her youth because of that monster. Yet I felt proud of the older Sabine, that she could eventually heal, tell the world her story and be determined not to be labelled as a victim. I have to warn you though; some of the chapters can be very upsetting, especially if you a sensitive person.

However, if you do love non-fictional stories, please do read this book and for those who have read this book, please share your thoughts and opinions 🙂


3 thoughts on “I Choose to live by Sabine Dardenne

    • I think it is a good book. However, some are saying that narrative is very dull. I just think some people are insensitive. An experience like this can put a person through hell and back. When she wrote the book, she wrote it as that twelve year old that was kidnapped and brutally tortured, she even said that she left some horrific things out w.r.t. the rape as it was too much for her to write about at that time still. Only when she was finish writing this book could she start to heal from her horrible experience. I think you should read it and let me know what you think 🙂

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