'Thank you:' Cleveland kidnapping victims speak out for the first time
July 9, 2013 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
- Former captives release YouTube video to convey appreciation to supporters
- Courage Fund has raised more than $1 million dollars for the victims
- Women don't plan to make any additional public statements
(CNN) -- For the first time since their rescue two months ago, the world is hearing directly from the three women who were held captive in Cleveland for a decade.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight released a video on YouTube, offering their thanks to all those who have supported them since they were freed from captivity.
"I want to thank everyone who has helped me and my family through this entire ordeal, everyone who has been there to support us. It has been a blessing to have such an outpouring of love and kindness," Amanda Berry says in the video. Berry was abducted at age 16 in April 2003 and has a 6-year-old daughter, who was born during her captivity.
Before and after the kidnappings
Gina DeJesus was 14 when she was kidnapped in 2004. She says to the public, "thank you for the support."
Amanda Berry speaks in a video released on YouTube on Monday, July 8, thanking people for support and privacy. Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped from a Cleveland home on May 6, 2013, after being held captive for nearly a decade.
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Excl. video from day women were freed
Michelle Knight, who was abducted at age 21 in August 2002 says, "thank you everyone for your love, support, and donations which helped me build a brand new life. I want everyone to know I'm doing just fine. I may have been to 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 my feet firmly on the ground."
Feds: 3 in Ohio held woman, child in 'subhuman' conditions
The Courage Fund, which was established to help the three victims, has raised more than $1 million dollars.
The three women were held captive by Ariel Castro and were beaten, raped and starved for a decade, according to prosecutors.
They were freed in May after one shouted for help while Castro was gone from the house.
'Please don't let me go,' victim told officers
The women don't plan to make any additional public statements.
"I'm getting stronger each day and having my privacy has helped immensely. I ask that everyone continue to respect our privacy and give us time to have a normal life," Berry says.
Castro is accused of holding the women in his Cleveland home. He faces 329 counts, including one count of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy. His next pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 24th.
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May 14, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
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May 6, 2014 -- Updated 1605 GMT (0005 HKT)
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November 7, 2013 -- Updated 0007 GMT (0807 HKT)
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August 1, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
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August 4, 2013 -- Updated 1737 GMT (0137 HKT)
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August 5, 2013 -- Updated 1038 GMT (1838 HKT)
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August 1, 2013 -- Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT)
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August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1354 GMT (2154 HKT)
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August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1356 GMT (2156 HKT)
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July 9, 2013 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
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August 2, 2013 -- Updated 0757 GMT (1557 HKT)
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May 10, 2013 -- Updated 0025 GMT (0825 HKT)
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August 1, 2013 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
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May 13, 2013 -- Updated 1055 GMT (1855 HKT)
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May 19, 2013 -- Updated 1537 GMT (2337 HKT)
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May 13, 2013 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
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May 8, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
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May 8, 2013 -- Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)
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May 10, 2013 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
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