News / USA

Cleveland Women's Escape From Long Captivity Unprecedented

Cleveland Women's Escape From Long Captivity Unprecedentedi
X
May 10, 2013 8:16 PM
The case of the man in Cleveland, Ohio, accused of kidnapping three women and a young child - and holding some of them for a decade - is both horrific and rare. Most of the 800,000 children reported missing every year in the United States are found within a few hours. As VOA’s Brian Padden reports, however, for the 100 or so who are abducted by sexual predators, however, their chances of survival go down significantly the longer their captivity lasts.
Brian Padden
The case of the man in Cleveland, Ohio, accused of kidnapping three women and a young child - and holding some of them for a decade - is both horrific and rare. Most of the 800,000 children reported missing every year in the United States are found within a few hours. For the 100 or so who are abducted by sexual predators, however, their chances of survival go down significantly the longer their captivity lasts.

The news that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were alive and free - after being kidnapped a decade ago - sparked celebrations in their home town. Robert Lowery, with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said their miraculous escape from years of captivity is unprecedented in the U.S.

“This is the first time we’ve ever seen multiple women held by an abductor, or it looks like it may have been singular, but we are not sure yet.  We haven’t got all the details from Cleveland, but it is highly unusual and it is not something that we see every day,” said Lowery.

Usually, the longer children go missing, the smaller the chance they will be found alive. But Lowery said this case and others give new cause for hope. Jaycee Dugard was found alive 18 years after she was kidnapped in California, and Elizabeth Smart spent nine months in captivity in Utah before she was found.

In Cleveland, public joy over the return of the missing women is tempered by the horror of their ordeal. The women say Ariel Castro, the 52- year-old man charged with kidnapping and rape, chained them in the basement, impregnated some and repeatedly beat them.  

Lowery said it is important for children to know that there are sexual predators out there, and that they should be on guard when strangers approach them.  

“If someone tries to grab them, we really encourage parents to tell their children, ‘Fight back, kick, scream, bring as much attention to that situation as you can' because it is the assertive children that we find are escaping from the clutches of these kind of offenders,” said Lowery.

While horrific kidnappings are relatively rare, Lowery says public awareness can help deter future abductions and find those who are still missing.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid