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Cleveland Kidnap Victims Break Silence

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight thank public for support
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2013 1:55 AM CDT
Updated Jul 9, 2013 7:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two months after their dramatic rescue, three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade have issued a YouTube video in which they thank the public for the encouragement and financial support that is allowing them to restart their lives. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight broke their public silence in the 3-minute, 30-second video. They said the support and prayers of family, friends, and the public is allowing them rebuild their lives after what Berry called "this entire ordeal." The women went missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16, and 20 years old.

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In the video, filmed July 2, Knight says she is building a "brand new life" after her ordeal. "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," she says, 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 donations to a fund set up to help the women. Her mother encouraged parents with missing loved ones to reach out for assistance. "Count on your neighbors," she said. "Don't be afraid to ask for the help because help is available." Click for more on their case. (Read more Amanda Berry stories.)

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