Free after five years in captivity, American hostage mom speaks out

In her first television interview, Caitlan Coleman Boyle describes how she defied her captors, suffering beatings and abuse while she tried to raise and educate her three children born into captivity.
8:56 | 11/21/17

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Transcript for Free after five years in captivity, American hostage mom speaks out
Here's Brian Ross. Jonah is the older and daquan Noah and Mia Degrace. They're free now learning the joys of a playground. And pizza night with no armed guards watching their every move. We have waited since 2012 for somebody to understand our problems. Reporter: Until just a few weeks ago, these children were America's littlest hostages. Held with their parent business a brutal group of Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We can only ask and pray that somebody will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us. Reporter: Their American mother, Caitlin Boyle and Canadian father Joshua, had been kidnapped five years ago by the Taliban when she was already six months pregnant with her eldest son. A pregnancy the guards wanted to end. They didn't want us to have ev him. Even the oldest. They tried. But he was too far along. And then these two came after. And we had to keep them secret. Reporter: Now in her first television interview, the mother of three no longer comfortable in western clothes is coming forward to describe how she bravely defied her captors to raise and educate her children. It was difficult. Reporter: What did you do? We would just teach them to use things like bottle caps or bits of cardboard, garbage, essentially, but what we could find to play with and tell them these are toys. Reporter: Do you think that he understood the kind of danger that he was in, that you were in when you were being held hostage? I think he did, yes. Reporter: As they learned of hostages being beheaded elsewhere, the parents say they even made up a game about beheadings using British history so their eldest son would not be scared if it actually happened. He certainly knew that this type of thing could happen to his family. So he had great fun pretending to be Oliver Cromwell chasing Charles I around and trying to behead him. Reporter: So you made it a game. We made it a game so he wasn't afraid. Reporter: It was far from the childhood Caitlin had growing up in rural stuartstown, Pennsylvania, where her parents say he was always the center of attention at Christmas. Merry Christmas, everyone. Reporter: A sense of safety and security her children have yet to know. What made me the saddest that we were prisoners was that I didn't have an opportunity to show my children this types of things that I grew up with, playgrounds or zoos, things like that was probably what was the hardest. Reporter: What kept you going? Faith and just, you know, you have to take every day one day at a time. Reporter: They taught their eldest son by the constellations and the stars even though he was never able to look up at the sky at night while a hostage. They can look at the night sky and go, oh, there's a star. Is that one beetlejuice or is that one serious? Reporter: He seems very verbal and very bright. Nadoushi Jonah is doing very well. He wants to put the flashlight in the tube. In my eye. Reporter: You must be proud of him. I'm proud of my entire family. Reporter: But everyone carries scars from the ordeal that will take more than toys and wholesome food to heal. They say nadoushi was subject of beatings by the guards. Some of them actively hated children and would target nadoushi and come up with reasons to hit him with a stick and claiming he was causing problems, being too loud. Reporter: KO you get in between the guards. Sometimes that's how I would get beaten or hit, thrown on the ground. She had a broken cheekbone. She broke her own hand punching one of them. Reporter: S fought back. Oh, yeah. Reporter: But Caitlin would pay dearly for her defiance. She believes the guards put something in her food to force a miscarriage with an unborn daughter, what she and her husband call a forced abortion. And she revealed in this hostage tape what happened next when she wouldn't keep quiet about it. A sexual assault in front of her son. My children had seen their mother defiled. That did happen. One day they came in to the cell and they took my husband out forcefully dragging him out. And that's when the assault happened. It was with two men and then there was a third at the door. And afterwards, the animals wouldn't even give me back my -- they wouldn't even give back clothes. Reporter: The very next day, she says, helicopter gunships attacked some nearby compounds and Caitlin saw it as an answer to her prayers. It was a big, big battle. Our guards were hiding out of sight. They were absolutely terrified. But my husband and I were each laughing to ourselves thinking I hope that these sons of bitches die today. Reporter: Before being captured, Boyle was known for his work in Canada on behalf of Canadians accused of being part of Al Qaeda and being held at Guantanamo. Reporter: After your capture, how soon did you realize this was pretty bad? I was shackled for five years every day. Reporter: He would not join up with them. How did they take that? Not rel. They were flabbergasted by the fact that date lip and I were open about our contempt for them. Reporter: You told that to them? I called them religious hypocrites to their face and that I would rather be killed than join their group. That did not make me friends. Reporter: The hostage videos they were forced to make show how conditions steadily got worse over their captivity. If we all come out of this safely and alive, then it will be a miracle. Reporter: It must have been an incredible strain on both of you, all that was going on, guns in your face all the time. That would be an understatement. I think we both kept going for the sake of the children, each other and ultimately keeping an eye on we wanted to hold people accountable at the end of the day. Reporter: Why are you alive and not this group? God likes me better than them. Reporter: Their freedom came almost five years to the day after they were captured. The family flew home on a commercial aircraft after Boyle refused to let them board a U.S. Military plane that was waiting for them. Yesterday the United States government, working with the government of pakistan,ured the release of Caitlin Coleman, Joshua Boyle and their three children from captivity from the hakani network, a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban. Reporter: He took some credit for negotiating your release. What do you say about that? I don't play politics. Reporter: You don't want to say anything about that? Whether he is owed a thank you? I don't play politics. Our focus is on trying to hold accountable those who have committed grave human rights violations against us and against others. Reporter: The Boyles' plan is to settle in Canada, not the U.S. A disappointment to her father, Jim, who remains angry at his daughter's husband for taking her to Afghanistan in the first place. All I can say is taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place to me and the kind of person that I am, it's unconscionable. Reporter: It is not something Joshua Boyle wants to talk about now. Let me ask you this question. What were you thinking when you took your wife there in the first place? Why would you take her into Taliban territory? Silence. Difficult issues remain with both her and his family. What's your hope for them, your wish for them now? My wish for them now is that they never have to face fear in their lives again, to have enough fun to make up for the years of trauma they've had to endure. But I hope that they find enough happiness and joy to make up for it. For nightline, Brian Ross, ABC news, ottawa, Canada.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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