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‘My Whole Life I Thought That I Didn’t Matter’: Turpin Sisters Say Support They’ve Received After Sharing Story ‘Overwhelming’

Jordan Turpin said she believes her siblings are “definitely in a better place right now” than they had been as they continue to heal from abuse they suffered at the hands of their parents, Louise and David Turpin.

By Jill Sederstrom

It’s been merely a matter of days since the Turpin sisters shared their harrowing story of abuse and Jordan Turpin’s dramatic decision escape her parent’s home and call 911—but the sisters say the amount of support they’ve already received has been “overwhelming.”

“All the love and support I am getting, it’s just, it’s overwhelming, but it’s awesome,” Jennifer Turpin told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a new interview, adding that she had already gotten “hundreds of DMs.”

Jennifer and her younger sibling Jordan recounted the years the sisters—and their 11 siblings—were victims of horrific abuse at the hands of their parents, David and Louise Turpin, during an interview with Diane Sawyer as part of a “20/20” special that aired Friday night.

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The children were forced to live in filth and were often punished or tied up in chains for the most minor infractions—but their parents reign of terror came to an end in 2018 when Jordan, then just 17 years old, slipped out of a window at their California home and called police using a deactivated cell phone.

The chilling story has struck a chord with those who’ve applauded Jordan for her bravery.

“Me personally I thought that I wasn’t loved and so when people are saying that I matter and they say that I am loved, and that I know I am making a difference, I just like, I don’t understand it because, like, my whole life I thought that I didn’t matter and I wasn’t loved, and so it just means so much to me,” Jordan said through tears on “Good Morning America” of the heartfelt response she’s received since the show aired.

After escaping her parents’ captivity, Jordan said she was placed into another “bad situation” where she remained for another three years before finally getting out of the situation and beginning her path toward healing.

She hopes to use the challenges she’s faced to become a motivational speaker to help others facing their own struggles.

“My whole life has been so hard for me to understand, why, you know, why everything has happened … but if I can use what I went through to make a difference in the world, then I think that can heal me,” she said.

While David and Louise Turpin were later convicted on 14 felony counts, including child cruelty, torture and false imprisonment and sentenced to 25 years to life, according to the “20/20” investigation, the Turpin children’s troubles didn’t end there.

Several minor victims were placed into a home that had allegedly been abusive and many of the adult victims were forced into the real world without funding for basic necessities like housing and food, even though $600,000 had been raised in private donations to help the family.

Riverside County Executive Officer Jeff Van Wagenen announced in a statement obtained by Oxygen.com that in response to the allegations surrounding the children’s care, placement and services provided,  the county has now hired the law firm Larsen LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the actions taken in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Firm leader Stephen G. Larson, said in a statement to Oxygen.com that his law firm plans to conduct a thorough investigation.

“Before accepting this engagement nearly three weeks ago, I required that the County give my firm complete freedom to pursue all relevant issues in this inquiry,” he said. “As demonstrated by our past work, I am confident that we have the experience to provide Riverside County with an in-depth and thorough review of the care and services provided to children in its foster care system and dependent adults under its care.”

While the investigation remains ongoing, Jordan told “Good Morning America” that she believes her siblings are “definitely in a better place right now” than they had been in the past.

“I know me personally, I have a lot of healing to do from the last home I was in,” she said. “I feel like there was a lot of damage done and it’s just been really hard, but I think that—I think that things are going to start getting better right now, you know? We just have to have faith.”

As for her own life today, Jennifer—the Turpin’s oldest child—said she has her own place and recently got her own car.

“I have an adorable kitty cat and bunny,” she said. “I love my job, even when it gets hard.”

For more on the case, watch Oxygen's "The Turpin 13: Family Secrets Exposed."