Hannah Anderson

According to an NBC News report, Hannah Anderson spoke out Thursday for the first time since her abduction riveted the country, thanking her rescuers and offering an explanation for text messages and letters that she exchanged with her captor.

In an exclusive conversation with TODAY, Hannah, 16, expressed gratitude for support that came from around the world during a weeklong odyssey from abduction outside San Diego to rescue in the Idaho backcountry.

“In the beginning, I was a victim,” she said. “But now knowing everyone out there’s helping me, I consider myself a survivor instead.”

Hannah revealed that the texts she traded with captor James Lee DiMaggio were to make arrangements with DiMaggio, a family friend, to pick her up from cheerleading camp.

“And he didn’t know the address or what — like, where I was. So I had to tell him the address and tell him that I was gonna be in the gym and not in front of the school,” she said. “Just so he knew where to come get me.”

See more on the story and interview at http://www.today.com/news/exclusive-hannah-anderson-speaks-out-reveals-new-details-kidnapping-6C10975683

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