If there is anyone in the world who knows what's like to have lived through what the three young Cleveland women have experienced, it's Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart.
Dugard, who was abducted in 1991 at the age of 11 and held captive for 18 years, spoke out on Tuesday how the Cleveland victims need time to heal.
"These individuals need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world. This isn't who they are. It is only what happened to them," Dugard told People magazine in a statement.
She added: "The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More then ever this reaffirms we should never give up hope."
Authorities are trying to determine what exactly happened to the girls, but like Amanda Berry, Dugard had two daughters while Phillip and Nancy Garrido were holding her captive.
Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom in Salt Lake City when she was 14 years old by a man who worked for her family. Brian Mitchell sexually assaulted her for nine months. Now the survivor's speaking out, saying she's overjoyed to hear about the happy ending in Cleveland.
She told CBS News:
"I am just so happy. I am overjoyed. And I think that just goes to show that everyday people, the general public are the people who are going to make the biggest difference. It was because of the bravery and the heroism of that one man that ended up saving those three girls," she said about neighbor Charles Ramsey, "Because he was willing to listen, he was willing to act, he was willing to help. So I think it's just wonderful."
The three women who had been held captive for nearly 10 years inside a Cleveland home told investigators on Tuesday they had to endure years of sexual abuse and beatings, according to USA Today.
The rundown house on the west side of Cleveland where the girls were held was just blocks away from their families.
Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight bolted to freedom Monday when neighbors who heard Berry’s cry helped her escape.
Authorities have arrested Ariel Castro, 52, the owner of the house and his brothers Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50.
Police told USA Today it’s believed the women were held in chains during part of their captivity.
After the women were hospitalized they were released to their families. Berry conceived and bore a child while being held captive, a girl named Jocelyn who is now 6. It’s currently unknown if one of the accused abductors fathered the child though it’s believed to be true. DNA tests are currently being run to find out if one of the Castro brothers is Jocelyn’s father.
Maria Vultaggio is a reporter for the Continuous News Desk (CND), where she covers trending topics and breaking news for the International Business Times....