The world will never fully know the unspeakable tortures they endured. But they survived.
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom at 14, declared a child bride by her captor and sexually assaulted for nine months. Jaycee Dugard, 11, was snatched from a roadside and held for 18 years, eventually bearing two babies fathered by her rapist kidnapper. Taken at 11, Shawn Hornbeck was sexually abused by his abductor for four years before police freed him.
This week in Cleveland, three new names were added to that list of young abduction survivors. After a decade in captivity, Amanda Berry, Georgina "Gina" DeJesus and Michelle Knight now face a challenging journey toward recovery.
What can they learn from the paths followed by Smart, Dugard, Hornbeck and others that led them from darkness to brighter lives?
The resiliency of these survivors is nothing short of remarkable. Smart, now 25, is married. She formed a foundation to battle child abuse and travels the country as a public speaker. Nearly four years after regaining her freedom, Dugard, 33, heads her own group aimed at helping victims like herself. She wrote a book about her ordeal and has learned to ride horseback. Hornbeck, 21, works full-time and wants to finish his education.
Experts credit much of their recovery to access to important health care resources and strong family support.
There's another factor: faith. These survivors likely were more confident that they would re-emerge into a safe world.
"Some of these people have had a considerable amount of faith, and they've entered into a community that has been very accepting and welcoming," said Dr. Wynn Schwartz, a Harvard Medical School psychologist.
Also: time. Smart, Dugard and Hornbeck initially walled themselves off from pesky news reporters, says Dr. Bonny Forrest, a San Diego-based psychologist and attorney. Being "very selective about their interviews allowed them to avoid having to immediately relive and retell" their traumatic experiences. It "allowed them to decompress or let go of their stress in a time period that was appropriate for them."
But for every survivor of childhood abduction, there are countless cases with endings that will never be known.
According to the FBI, more than half of all missing persons cases in the United States involve children.
Specifically, of all 87,217 active missing persons cases in 2012, the FBI says 47,366 missing people were 20 or younger. That's 54.3%. Although many are runaways and don't wish to be found, an unknown number might have been abducted.
For young abductees, experts say, survival is a rare thing.
Here are some of their inspiring stories:
Smart: 'I was marked'
It was late at night inside the bedroom of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart. A drifter named Brian David Mitchell climbed through a window of her Salt Lake City, Utah, home and put a knife to her throat. He forced her to walk to a nearby campsite, where Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, "sealed" Smart to him in a brief ceremony and raped her. The couple forced Smart to wander with them from town to town, often keeping her tethered to trees.
Nine months after her abduction, police stopped Mitchell, Barzee and Smart as they left a Walmart in Sandy, Utah, just five miles from her family's home. Smart's life as a captive was finally over.
"I felt that because of what he had done to me, I was marked," Smart later testified at Mitchell's trial. "I wasn't the same. My personal value had dropped. I was nothing. Another person could never love me."
Smart's fears proved to be unfounded as she leaned on her faith and her family. And this past week, she offered to share what she learned during her recovery with the Cleveland victims.
"Nothing that has happened to them will ever diminish their value," Smart told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. "It should never hold them back from doing what they want to do."
Smart reminded them to "take as much time as they need" to recover before going public with the details of their ordeals. "And if they decide never to share their stories, that would be OK, too."
Her remarkable recovery has included co-authoring a Justice Department pamphlet about how to survive abduction. Smart works as a contributor for a national TV news network and she runs a foundation aimed at protecting children from predators.
Last year, Smart married Scotsman Matthew Gilmour, whom she met while they performed missionary work in France for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Dugard focuses on hope
In 1991, Jaycee Dugard was a carefree tween walking toward a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California. But when Phillip and Nancy Garrido drove by looking for a victim, 11-year-old Jaycee's life changed forever.