CLEVELAND — A 32-year-old woman who was kidnapped eleven years ago at the age of 21 thanked her supporters and spoke of God as her ‘best friend’ in a video that was released to the public on Tuesday.
Michelle Knight is one of three women that made national headlines this May when police freed them from the home of a man who is now facing 329 charges related to their kidnapping. According to reports, 52-year-old Ariel Castro, a former bus driver, allegedly beat, starved and raped the women during their decade-long captivity, and one of the women, Amanda Berry, now has a six-year-old daughter that was fathered by Castro.
Each of the women appeared in a video released today to thank the public for their support during the nightmare.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal, everyone who has been there to support us,” Berry said. “It has been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness.”
Gina DeJesus, who was kidnapped in 2004 at age 14, simply stated, “[T]hank you for the support.”
Knight had a longer statement prepared for the video, during which she spoke repeatedly of her faith.
“I just want everyone to know that I’m doing just fine,” she said. “I may have been through Hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk though Hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high and my feet firmly on the ground.”
“Walking hand in hand with my Best Friend, I will not let the situation define who I am,” Knight stated, referring to the Lord. “I will define the situation. I don’t want to be consumed by hatred.”
She then outlined her belief that God has a plan even in the midst of the darkest circumstances.
“[W]e need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control,” Knight asserted. “We have been hurt by people, but we need to rely on God as being the judge. God has a plan for all of us. That plan that He gave me was to help others that have been in the same situations I have been in.”
The 32-year-old, who exerted much confidence as she read her statement, said that she is optimistic about the days ahead.
“To know that there is Someone out there to lean on and to talk to — I am in control of my own destiny with the help of God,” she asserted. “I have no problem expressing how I feel inside.”
“Be positive. Learn that it is [more] important to give than to receive,” she told those watching. “Thank you for all your prayers. I’m looking forward to my brand new life.”