Lifetime’s ‘Girl in the Closet’ – Where is Abuse Survivor Lauren Kavanaugh Now?

Where is Lauren Kavanaugh Today

Where is Abuse Survivor Lauren Kavanaugh Today? – Between the ages of 2 and 8, Lauren Kavanaugh, also known as the “Girl in the Closet,” was physically, mentally, and sexually abused by her mother and stepfather.

Lifetime’s Girl in the Closet‘ is rumoured to present a fictionalised account of this event and analyse the prevalence of family abuse. Following her 2019 indictment on three counts of child sexual assault, her mother was arrested and sentenced to 20 years for each count.

Lauren Kavanaugh child photo

Who is Lauren Kavanaugh?

After Lauren Kavanaugh’s birth on April 12, 1993, Lauren’s biological mother, Barbara Calhoun, encountered financial challenges. Thus, she gave her daughter to Sabrina and Bill Kavanaugh, who were ecstatic to adopt her. At the age of eight months, Lauren’s birth mother abruptly filed for custody. Due to a technicality in the adoption documents, Barbara’s parental rights had not yet been revoked, so she brought the child home. Initially, both she and her ex-husband, Kenneth Atkinson, enjoyed visitation rights.

Sabrina became concerned about Lauren’s safety as she spent more and more time at their residence. When she noticed the crimson rash on the child’s diaper and took her to the doctor, she knew she had been sexually abused. Sabrina was surprised when the hospital informed her that it would not test Lauren with a rape kit since doing so could harm Lauren. In 1995, the court eventually granted custody to the Atkinsons, and she began living with them at the Hutchins residence. Six years later, Lauren was subjected to every type of abuse imaginable, all of which went undetected by the outside world.

Barbara and Keith are accused of sexually assaulting Lauren on a regular basis, with Barbara taking pleasure in seeing her husband harm the child. Worst yet, the couple sold the youngster to paedophiles who abused her and visited their home. In addition to being physically abused and regularly hungry, Lauren survived solely on crackers, soup, and butter that her elder sister slipped in for her. Long amounts of time were spent locking the girl in a small closet, and she was only released to be tormented. Lauren resorted to sleeping in her own faeces and urine in the end.

Barbara Atkinson
Barbara Atkinson

Around the age of two, Lauren’s brain and body stopped developing due to maltreatment and malnutrition. Strangely, after six years of harassing the young child, Kenneth finally alerted his neighbour, Jeanie River, who was shocked by the girl’s plight. When the latter found out, they contacted the police, who went to the Atkinson residence on June 11 to retrieve Lauren. She was discovered to have a body weight of only 25,6 pounds and numerous medical issues, including a clogged oesophagus and extensive genital mutilation.

In addition to being socially awkward, Lauren had a limited vocabulary and was frequently frightened. Thankfully, Sabrina and Bill learned of her condition in July 2002 and insisted on adopting her permanently. During the subsequent months, Lauren attempted to resume a normal lifestyle, but health issues and learning difficulties beset her. Yet, she constantly felt protected and treasured by her adoptive family and their friends. Barbara and Kenneth were nonetheless convicted guilty of felony child abuse and given life sentences in prison.

Lauren Kavanaugh when rescued

Life Of Lauren Kavanaugh In The Closet

Doctors testified that two-year-old Lauren Kavanaugh, rescued from the Atkinson household in 2001, ceased growing about when she was returned to her biological mother.

Sergeant David Landers of the Dallas Police Department stated, “Barbie began by placing Lauren on a pallet next to her on the floor.” Lauren would leave the room and search through objects in another, so Barbie kept her in the closet and limited her entry with a baby gate.

“Barbie had just shut the door when Lauren was able to force it open.”

Lauren and her five siblings attended family gatherings together when she was younger. Doris, Barbara’s mother, recalled her granddaughter Lauren always trying to eat everything in sight whenever she came. Then, Barbara informed her that Lauren had an eating disorder.

Doris stopped spending time with Lauren after that year’s Thanksgiving when Lauren was six years old. Doris never questioned Barbara’s claim that she was at a friend’s residence.

Lauren Kavanaugh was hiding in her mother’s closet, surviving on cold soup, crackers, and tubs of butter that her older sister occasionally smuggled in for her. On the rare times when she was allowed to emerge from hiding, she was subjected to considerably more severe torture.

closet in which Lauren Kavanaugh lived

While she was a child, Kenneth and Barbara Atkinson sexually abused their daughter. Lauren’s older sister, Blake Strohl, recalls hearing her screams coming from her bedroom and assumed their parents were torturing her.

When they weren’t molesting her personally, the Atkinson family hired Lauren to paedophiles. The year following her rescue, Lauren panicked when she saw a clown and asked, “Are you taking me to the Candyman’s house?” for Halloween. One of the persons who sexually attacked her frequently referred to himself as “Candyman” and wore a clown mask when doing so.

Both Lauren Kavanaugh’s mother and stepfather mistreated her physically. When Barbara infrequently washed Lauren, she would hold her head under the water until she couldn’t breathe and then grin about it.

She would also feed the child macaroni and cheese with the instruction, “Chew it, but don’t swallow it.” Lauren was the only one of Kenneth and Barbara’s five children who were consistently denied food and isolated, but they were all exposed to violence.

I never loved Lauren,” Barbara told CPS. She was never someone that piqued my curiosity. I feel my other children’s pain. I felt no pain when Lauren was injured.

Kenneth Atkinson had abused Lauren for six years before his confession. The unknown is whether Lauren’s long life of seclusion ended in June 2001 due to a sudden change of heart or a vicious act of revenge after he found Barbara was cheating on him.

Lauren Kavanaugh Now

Where is Lauren Kavanaugh Now?

With time and treatment, Lauren Kavanaugh began to recover from her trauma and physical problems, but she continued to experience incapacitating memories and engage in self-destructive behaviour. In August 2005, tragedy struck again when her cousin’s husband raped her in the Kavanaughs’ barn. Because of this occurrence, Lauren’s painful memories continued resurfacing, and the tiniest stimuli began to set her off once more. Depressed to the extent of suicidal ideation, she tried suicide. After graduating from high school at the age of 20 in 2013, Lauren set her sights on a job and enrolled in a reading and writing remediation course at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens.

Over time, Lauren began dating and moved in with her new partner, but their blissful existence was cut short by yet another frightening event. In 2018, she was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl she met online. Once she was indicted at the start of 2019, two counts of assault on a public servant and one act of harassment on a public servant were filed against her. The next year, she was committed to a psychiatric facility when a judge determined she lacked the mental capacity to stand trial. Owing to a serious lack of hospital beds, she was compelled to spend several more months in detention.

So, the court conducted a second evaluation of Lauren in August of 2021, but the results were kept secret. Instead, the claims of sexual assault against her were dismissed, and she was released from jail. Since then, Lauren appears to have become more reclusive and less active on social media. She lives with Bill and Sabrina in Canton, Texas, and she appears to be around 30 years old. Although she has experienced grief in the past, she is determined to put the past behind her and build a prosperous future for herself.

Must Read: Where are Lauren Kavanaugh’s Parents Bill and Sabrina Kavanaugh Now?