One of the victims of Ariel Castro, Michelle Knight is a portrait of bravery. After a life of turmoil, she was kidnapped, held captive for 11 years, raped and tortured. She has no family to return to when she was discovered and saved. But through all this, she was the one who confronted Ariel Castro in court.
Michelle Knight’s Past
Michelle Knight had a troubled life and some of the details are still unknown. But, what is known brings to light how much more healing she has to go through. Although not officially diagnosed, there is mention of some type of mental disorder. After being raped in high school, charges were never filed by police. Later she became pregnant and had a son, of whom she lost custody. The reason for this is difficult to pinpoint because of various stories from family members. And the whereabouts of her son are unknown. Just surviving this proves her courageousness.
Michelle Knight’s Bravery
Although, not seen as often as the other victims and not heard from at all after her rescue, Michelle Knight became the voice of the three survivors at Ariel Castro’s sentencing. Her ability to speak about what happened to her and to confront this evil man proves that she is on the road to recovery. Better yet, her wish to help other victims is one of the most loving acts I’ve known about in a very long time.
Her smile, her gratefulness to the police, the community and to strangers who are helping her makes me want to honor her. These words from her victim statement will stick with me forever, “From this moment on, I will not let you define me or affect who I am. You will live — I will live on. You will die a little every day.” Now that is bravery.
God bless you, Michelle Knight.
To help the survivors of Ariel Castro, consider donating to the Cleveland Courage Fund, a nonprofit.
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