Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, the victims who were held against their wills for a decade at a home in Cleveland, Ohio, released a video on Monday thanking supporters and giving an update about their lives in the wake of their harrowing rescue.
“First and foremost, I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends. It’s been unbelievable,” Berry said at the start of the 3 minute and 33-second clip.
The kidnapping victim went on to thank the public for helping her family. Additionally she noted that, each day, she is getting stronger and that privacy is helping in that process, as she works to build a normal life.
As for DeJesus, she also thanked the community for its support and her father, Felix, and mother, Nancy, spoke out in appreciation for neighbors and members of the public who helped them during the many years that their daughter was missing.
Knight’s portion of the clip focused upon themes of appreciation and forgiveness. She mentioned God numerous times as being the source through which she is able to move on from the horrific detainment experience.
“Thank you everyone for your love, support and donations, while help me build a brand-new life. I just want everyone to know I’m doing just fine,” Knight said. “I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and with my feet firmly on the ground.”
The victim said that “God is in control” and that she cannot be consumed by hatred for her captors. Considering what she went through, Knight’s words are encouraging and intriguing, as many would, understandably, be motivated and overtaken by anger in the wake of such a horrific experience.
“We have been hurt by people, but we need to rely on God as being the judge,” she added.
Watch the video, below:
The clip, filmed July 2, at the law offices of Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio, was assembled by multiple parties — Hennes Paynter Communications (a PR firm), the law office, a social media strategist and a videographer — are all working pro bono to help the women. Local politicians have also launched the Cleveland Courage Fund to help raise money for Berry, DeJesus and Knight.
While the women are now speaking out, a description accompany the clip makes it clear that they do not wish to have their privacy impeded.
“The women still maintain a strong desire for privacy and ask that everyone continue to respect their wishes in that regard going forward,” it reads, in part.
Their alleged captor, Ariel Castro, 52, has pleaded not guilty to an indictment that includes 329 counts. The former school bus driver is accused of kidnapping and rape, among other charges. There’s even an aggravated murder charge in the mix over an abortion that he allegedly caused by using force on one of the women.
Jury selection begins in the case on Aug. 5.
(H/T: ABC News)
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