Turpin children, other young survivors of abuse: How to help

The Turpin siblings say they still struggle to access basic living necessities.

November 19, 2021, 9:48 AM

If you want to find out about how to donate to the Turpin siblings featured on "20/20," click here.

Jennifer and Jordan Turpin, alongside their 11 siblings, endured years unthinkable torture, malnourishment and captivity at the hands of their parents.

For the first time since their escape nearly four years ago, the two sisters are speaking out about their traumatic childhood in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.

In their interview, Jennifer and Jordan revealed they lived in horrendous conditions under their parents, David and Louise Turpin, in which they said they were deprived of food, proper hygiene, education and medical care. They said some of their siblings were shackled to beds on and off for months at a time.

Despite an initial outpouring of support in the weeks after their parents’ 2018 arrest, the Turpin siblings and their advocates say they are still struggling to access basic living necessities, including food and housing, through the California county that has jurisdiction over the case.


Escape From A House Of Horror

13 children were held captive by their parents in a survival story like you’ve never seen. Now, hear from two of the Turpin siblings for the first time.

“Right now, I don’t really have a way to get food right now,” Jordan Turpin, 21, told Sawyer at the time of the interview in July of this year. “I also don’t really have a place to go right now, but I have my older siblings helping me out.” At this time, Jordan is in temporary housing through a school program.

PHOTO: Jordan and Jennifer Turpin sat down with ABC News' Diane Sawyer for an exclusive interview airing on Nov. 19, 2021.
Jordan and Jennifer Turpin sat down with ABC News' Diane Sawyer for an exclusive interview airing on Nov. 19, 2021.
ABC News

Many of the siblings are still “living in squalor,” according to Mike Hestrin, the Riverside County District Attorney.

“That is unimaginable to me – that we could have the very worst case of child abuse that I’ve ever seen, and then that we would then not be able to get it together to give them basic needs,” Hestrin told Sawyer.

Watch the Diane Sawyer special event, "Escape From A House Of Horror," on Friday, Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and stream on Hulu.

Across the country, an estimated one in every seven children experienced abuse and neglect over the last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jaycee Dugard, also a survivor of abuse and exploitation, was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years, after she was abducted while walking to the school bus when she was just 11 years old.

Following her own escape, Dugard created the JAYC Foundation in 2011, which works to support “individuals and families that have experienced a severe crisis, challenge or conflict through a major life disruption.”

Dugard’s foundation has created a fund to receive donations for the 13 Turpin children.

“13 children were held captive by their parents in a survival story like you’ve never seen. Please don’t look away," Dugard wrote in a statement on her foundation's website. "Three years after escaping hell, many of the 13 siblings are not under foster care or guardianship and are still struggling to survive and need your support."

100% of the donations, less PayPal processing fees, received will go to support the Turpin children in living "their best lives going forward," Dugard wrote.

"This is why the JAYC Foundation exists. It is for families like the Turpin siblings that have so little but need so much. The resources that my family and I received in our time of need changed our lives," Dugard wrote. "Now it’s our turn to pay it forward and to ask you to help this amazing family."

If you would like to learn more about the JAYC Foundation’s fund for the Turpin siblings, click the link here.

To read about and support other organizations working to help vulnerable children and families, follow the links below:

Prevent Child Abuse America: Prevent Child Abuse America is a national non-profit organization, which works to end child abuse and neglect before it happens by advocating for meaningful change at the national, state, and local levels, and raise awareness of supportive programs that help children and families in communities across the country. Founded in 1972 and based in Chicago, the organization has chapters operating across 46 states.

The North American Council on Adoptable Children: The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to ensure that every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family through adoption. NACAC reports that they are currently working with Spaulding for Children and other partners to help improve the training offered to foster and adoptive parents of children who are older and have more needs.

The National CASA/GAL Association for Children: The National CASA/GAL Association for Children is a national organization which supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for children and young people who have experienced abuse or neglect. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to be a voice for these children in court and in the community. CASA/GAL operates 950 state organizations and local programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Foster Care to Success: Foster Care to Success is a national non-profit organization, which works to support youth transition from foster care to adulthood through education, through youth scholarships, coaching and mentorship. The organization reports that their work has impacted more than 50,000 foster youth, and it has been acknowledged by Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and every White House Administration since that of George Bush, Sr., in 1989.

StandUp for Kids: StandUp for Kids is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of youth homelessness in local communities. In operation since 1990, StandUp for Kids helps to transition homeless and at-risk youth through housing support, mentoring, drop-in centers, and street outreach.

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