Sometimes, amongst the awful things that happen in the world, you see someone who reacts differently than you expect. Tonight I saw a television item about Michelle Knight, one of the three women who were kidnapped and held in a boarded-up house in Cleveland by school Bus Driver Ariel Castro. They were rescued earlier this year after one escaped and got a neighbor to call the police. Each of the three women was raped, beaten and chained up. One became pregnant and gave birth in the house – her six-year-old-daughter escaped with her.
Normally, someone who had been through such an experience would want to disappear from the public view. And mostly they have. But this week, Michelle Knight walked into the court room in which her former rapist and kidnapper was sitting, and delivered what amounted to a victim impact statement – in full view of Castro.
She said, “You deserve to spend life in prison. You took 11 years of my life away and now I’ve got it back. I spent 11 years in hell and now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this has happened, but you will face hell for eternity.”
Knight, her voice rising, added, “I will live on. You will die a little every day.”
For her to be able to walk into that courtroom was an act of immense courage. Michelle, I admire and salute you. I hope you have a good life. A fund has been established to assist the women to get back to a normal life. A link to the fund is here.