Women in Ohio kidnap case thank public for supportTuesday 09 July 2013 22.04
Three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade have thanked the public for their support in a YouTube video.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their public silence, saying the encouragement of family, friends and the public has enabled them to restart their lives.
Former bus driver Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment alleging he kidnapped the women between 2002 and 2004 and held them captive in his two-storey home.
He fathered a six-year-old daughter with Ms Berry and is accused of starving and punching Ms Knight, causing her to miscarry.
Mr Castro was arrested on 6 May shortly after Ms Berry broke through a door at the home and yelled to neighbours for help.
In the video, Ms Knight said she is building a new life. "I am strong enough to walk through hell with my head held high," she said.
"I will not let the situation define who I am. I don't want to be consumed by hatred."
Some of the women's relatives also appear in the video.
Ms DeJesus's mother, Nancy Ruiz, advised parents of other missing children.
"Please do me one big favour, count on your neighbours, don’t be afraid to ask for their help, because help is available," she said.