Cleveland Victims: “One Step Closer to Recovery”

Amanda Berry, Gina De Jesus, and Michelle Knight portrait

In a courageous web video released this month, the three women who were kidnapped and imprisoned in a Cleveland home for over ten years made their first public statements since their rescue. Amanda Berry, Gina De Jesus and Michelle Knight thanked the public for their continued love and support.

According to RAINN's VP of victim services, Jennifer Marsh, the women have taken one step closer to recovery and seem as though they are moving towards leading happier and more normal lives.

In an interview with ABC News Marsh said, "When I was watching the video, it seemed as though they were making the transition from victim to survivor."

One supporter of the Cleveland survivors, Alex Sheen, dedicated 10 days of his life to walk 240 miles across the state of Ohio to raise awareness and funds for those affected by sexual violence.

The funds Sheen raises will be split between RAINN and the Cleveland Courage Fund, a foundation established to directly benefit the kidnapping survivors.

Note: On July 26th, Ariel Castro pled guilty to 937 criminal counts of kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder. He will be formally sentenced this week and is facing life in prison plus 1,000 years.

The rape kit backlog is currently one of the biggest obstacles to prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence.

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Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, 310 are reported to the police.

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A $25 monthly gift can educate 15,000 people about preventing sexual violence. Can you think of a better way to spend $1 a day?

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