The three women who were allegedly kidnapped and held in a house of horrors in Cleveland, Ohio have gone through sheer hell for the past decade. Sources say the women suffered numerous pregnancies and miscarriages throughout their captivity -- but one woman, Amanda Berry, managed to give birth to a little girl, Jocelyn, who is now 6-years-old and rescued along with her mom and the other two women. One of the women, Michelle Knight, suffered unspeakable tragedy even before this horrific turn of events. Reports say that a year before she was kidnapped, Michelle had given birth to a little boy. And she reportedly became pregnant after being gang-raped by three boys.
According to Michelle's great-aunt, Deborah Knight, Michelle was raped by three classmates in junior high and gave birth to a son, Joey, a year before her abduction. The boy was subsequently placed in foster care and it was these events that led police to conclude that Michelle had become angry at circumstances and ran away of her own accord. As a result, she was never searched for in a way that the other two women, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, were.
If reports are correct, Michelle, who is now 32, would have been gang-raped at about 18 years old, so it's unclear how she was in junior high school at the time, as reports state.
If all of this is true, it's unbelievable the amount of trauma this one woman has been through. Not only was she gang-raped, gave birth, had that child taken away, and then was kidnapped, but she reportedly has hearing loss and facial trauma from her years of abuse allegedly at the hands of captor Ariel Castro. One horrific detail from her years of hell is that Michelle was forced to be a midwife at the birth of Amanda Berry's daughter and threatened with death by Castro if the baby didn't survive.
Michelle's brother, Freddie, has visited Michelle in the hospital and said she asked him for a hug. "She was so freaking happy. I gave her a hug, but I couldn’t give her a bear hug because of all the things that happened to her," Freddie told the New York Daily News. "She was just so happy to see me."
In yet another hint into the devastating dynamics that Michelle endured even before her capture, brother Freddie says he didn't even know that his sister had been missing since he's been estranged from his family since the age of 14. While the other victims have gone home to their families, Michelle remains in the hospital and has asked for no more visitors.
But hopefully this poor woman will have a happy ending. Freddie says she is eager to reunite with her son, who is now 13. Says Freddie: "She wants to start a new life, have the whole family there." Perhaps, in some strange, horrific way, this tragedy will mean getting to know her son in a way she wouldn't have otherwise.
It's going to take an enormous amount of strength for Michelle to overcome what life has thrown at her so far -- but this woman has strength. Look at all she's survived so far. She deserves nothing but happiness from here on.
How can people survive such horrible trauma?
Editor's Note: Further reports have clarified that Michelle was reportedly in high school and was 17 years old when the assault happened.
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