Woman, 42, kidnapped by ex age 19 escapes after being held captive for 22 years

A woman has escaped a house after reportedly being held captive for 22 years.

The 42-year-old woman was just 19 when her then-boyfriend kidnapped her and took her hostage, according to local media.

She managed to break free when the suspect, identified as 57-year-old Oscar R, went to the bathroom and left the front door of the home in Rosario, Argentina unlocked.

The victim, whose identity has been protected by the authorities, grabbed her abuser's mobile phone along with some cash and ran outside, reports infobae.com.

She later reported the alleged crime at a nearby police station.

Oscar R. was arrested a few days later, according to reports.

Prosecutor Luciana Vallarella told local media that the suspect has been charged with kidnapping and assault and could be sentenced to between two and six years if found guilty.

The prosecutor is said to have admitted that such a sentence "does not reflect the suffering the woman (endured)".

Ms Vallarella added that the woman suffered domestic violence from the very start of their relationship and that he regularly beat and threatened her.

When she was a teenager and her family first learned of the alleged abuse, they tried to intervene.

According to local media, that was when the suspect first decided to keep the woman as his hostage. For the first two years she was chained to the leg of a bed.

He reportedly threatened to hurt the victim's young son from a previous relationship to make her cooperate.

Oscar R. also allowed the victim to communicate with her family over the phone, but told her what to say, according to Ms Vallarella.

Eventually over time, relatives believed that she no longer wanted to keep in contact with them.

According to local media, the victim was occasionally allowed to leave the house in the company of Oscar R., but had to shave her head and dress like a man.

According to local media, the suspect is being held in custody for 60 days as the investigation continues.

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