Three Ohio kidnap victims who were held for a decade, released a Youtube video on Monday night, to thank the public for their support after their incredible escape.
The women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight broke their silence in the three-minute, 30-second video posted at midnight. They thank supporters for their encouragement and financial support which is allowing them to move on with their lives.
They said the support and prayers of family, friends, and the public is allowing them to rebuild their lives after what Berry called “this entire ordeal.”
Berry, DeJesus, and Knight were kidnapped separately between 2002 and 2004 when they were young teenagers.
The women appear happy and energized in the video and show no signs of the abuse that Ariel Castro allegedly inflicted upon the Ohio kidnap victims while he held them in their two story home.
Castro is a 52-year-old former bus driver, who has pleaded not guilty in the 329 count indictment against him. He fathered a six-year-old daughter with Berry and is accused of starving and punching Knight, in an effort to make her miscarry.
He was arrested May 6, shortly after Berry broke through a door at the home and yelled to neighbors for help. This uncovered one of the most riveting kidnapping case in the nation’s history.
“I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and my head held high,” Knight said, reading from a prepared statement. “I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation. I don’t want to be consumed by hatred.”
DeJesus’ parents thanked the public for contributions to a fund set up to help the abused women and encouraged parents of other kidnap victims to reach out to neighbors for help.
“Count on your neighbors,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for the help because help is available.”
Kathy Joseph, Knight’s attorney, said in a statement that the three women wanted to “say thank you to people from Cleveland and across the world, now that two months have passed.”
James Wooley, an attorney for DeJesus and Berry said in another statement that the kidnap victims are thankful for the privacy they have been allowed, but they do not want to discuss their case with anyone.
What do you think of the video released by the Ohio kidnap victims on Monday?