I Choose to Live, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


I lived through the Dutroux affair from the inside, and all these years I have kept silent about it - about my 'personal' Dutroux Affair, my time in the company of the most hated psychopath in Belgium.

I need to write this book for three reasons: so that people stop giving me strange looks and treating me like a curiosity; so that no one ever asks me any more questions ever again; and so that the judicial system never again frees a paedophile for 'good behaviour'.' 'The Dutroux Affair' shook the whole of Europe.

In the middle of the immense machinery of investigation and justice there was Sabine Dardenne herself, Dutroux's last victim.

She was held captive for eighty days - and survived. Far from sensationalising the horror, her story, dignified and restrained, is ultimately uplifting. Says Sabine Dardenne, 'I choose to live'.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9781844082681



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Everyone should read this book. It's the harrowing tale of the capture and eventual rescue (some long months later) of a 12 year old Belgian girl by a pedophile known as the "Belgian Monster". Things take a turn for the worse when she gets bored being kept in isolation in the basement and asks for company. The "monster" only goes and kidnaps a second girl!An amazing and worthwhile read. Makes you realise how lucky you are.

Review by

Dardenne was kidnapped by Marc Dutroux at age 12, brainwashed and put through hell for nearly three months. This is her autobiographical story from slightly before, during the named ordeal and the aftermath, e.g. adapting to life, growing up and ending the book with the trial of her accosters. Using a very matter-of-factly style of describing what her thoughts were at the time of being kidnapped as well as her most recent mind-set, the story really gripped me; Dardenne also details her failings to communicate with her mother before the kidnapping and how that deeply affected her afterwards. The final chapter is in my eye the best, and really put everything on its edge. I think the subtleties of Dardenne's (and her co-writer's) way of expression really brings forward the horrors of what happened to her, and glancing at what might have happened to several other young girls and women who were abused and murdered by Dutroux and his accomplices. A singular and horrific read.

Also by Sabine Dardenne