The road to normality from 'enslavement and bondage' to a consensual relationship is fraught with torments of memories.
Incest cellar victim Elisabeth Fritzl 'falls in love with her bodyguard'??
02nd June 2009
Austrian incest victim Elisabeth Fritzl has fallen in love with her bodyguard and is sharing a home with him, it was reported yesterday.
The news comes two months after she saw her father Josef jailed for life for holding her prisoner in a basement for 24 years and fathering six children by her.
The Oesterreich newspaper said Elisabeth struck up a relationship with the man, identified only as Thomas W, when he was assigned to guard her after she was freed in April last year.
The newspaper adds that the move to live with him has given 42-year-old Miss Fritzl 'renewed strength'.
A source said: 'Everyone saw from the beginning how secure she felt with him.'
It is unclear whether the children have now moved in to live with her and Thomas or remained in another house that they had been sharing since earlier this year.
The Oesterreich newspaper claimed that the new home is in a district called Perg in Upper Austria. Thomas would be the only consenting relationship Elisabeth has had with a man since her kidnap in 1984.
Elisabeth was just 18 when she was drugged with ether by her convicted-rapist father and imprisoned in a dank, windowless secret dungeon he constructed beneath the family home in the Austrian town of Amstetten two hours from Vienna.
For 24 years he raped her an estimated 3,000 times. She had seven children in the darkness, one of whom died three days after birth.
Freed by her jailer in April last year after her 19-year-old daughter Kerstin fell gravely ill in the cellar, she is now trying to rebuild a life for herself and the children who gave her the strength to carry on during her incredible ordeal.
A new romantic relationship with a man would indicate a giant leap on the road to normality for the brave mother.
'They are a couple,' an eyewitness claimed in the newspaper.
Thomas W. works for a company called A.S.T. Security which was hired to protect Elisabeth and her children shortly after the cellar was discovered in April last year.
She is also taking driving lessons while spending many hours a week in therapy to help her cope with the post-traumatic stress of her ordeal.
She stunned officials at the trial of her father, 74, in March when she made an unexpected appearance in court.
When he knew she was there, Fritzl broke down. Afterwards he changed his pleas to guilty to all charges – including one of murder in relation to the death of the baby in the cellar – to murder.
He has made repeated attempts from inside jail to contact his six other children from his marriage but they have snubbed him.