Thursday, March 10, 2016

International Women's Day: The story of the Ohio Slave Girls

I admit that I am a day late, but that does not stop me from celebrating all the women around the world.

Today is a lazy day for me. I woke up at twelve, which was a bit annoying since I was supposed hunt for a job, but that's mistake. Wednesdays are always lazy days for me, unless I have mengaji class. 

So, what did I do today?

As usual, I was on Youtube and I came across this video. The title caught my eye and I was very intrigued. Well, I'm always intrigued when it comes to crime cases.

If you're on mobile and you're not able to click on the link, then, this is the story about three girls held captive for ten years.

Ten years.

Of course, I had to know the story. Most of the time, I watch videos from the criminal's side. Survivor stories are really rare and this is one is an incredible story. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, known as the Ohio Slave Girls were held captive by a man named Ariel Castro in the beginning 2003 until they finally made it out in 2013. Ariel's first victim was Michelle, then a year later he kidnapped Amanda and after that year, he took Gina. 

The eery part of this story is that Castro, in my opinion, had the actual life of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He didn't come off as creepy or taunting. He was a part of the community. Everybody in the neighbourhood knew who he was. He seemed friendly and normal to everyone. He even came to the family of the victim when they had their loss, and I think that even though he didn't show any signs of a criminal, I don't think that he's just acting around them. I really think that something on his mind went off. He didn't have an evil mind because the girls would have been dead by now, but somehow he just never killed them. He just wanted to have fun with them. Castro was going through a divorce and maybe that might have something to do with his intentions. Maybe he felt like he just lost everything.

Out of all girls, I have to say that I feel sorry towards Michelle the most and I think everyone who has seen the documentary would say the same. All of the girls were strong. They got through that nightmare together. Even though they went through the same thing, Michelle went through way worst things.

Michelle was raped and bullied when she was younger. She was also disowned. She had a baby named Joey when she was eighteen but lost custody over him. Michelle went through a lot, and I cannot stress that so much. When she was missing, she said and I quote "Nobody came looking for me." She didn't get as much attention as the other two girls did in the media. Not saying that Gina and Amanda didn't deserve it but they all went through the same thing and they should get the same coverage. But, because of the fact that Michelle's family didn't seem to bother with her, she didn't get that attention. Do you know how fucked up that is? No one should be left abandoned.

She did have a family, though. She had the two girls.

However, throughout all the things she went through, she came off as a beautiful woman. When I saw her interview, I couldn't help cry tears of joy because of how strong she was. If I were to be in her shoes, I wouldn't have made it. I would've told myself that this is the way that I am going to leave this world. She had so much weight on her shoulder and I absolutely applaud and respect her.

During the ten years, Amanda was pregnant with Castro's baby. The baby was delivered by Michelle and during that time, Castro favored Amanda more than her and so during the session, he had a gun held to a girl in her twenties who had no medical practice and said "If this baby doesn't come out alive and healthy, I will shoot you." I think it's the fact that no one came looking for Michelle was why he had the pleasure of abusing her but also the fact that Amanda was giving birth to his daughter whom from a neighbor's perspective that he had loved so much for. However, through all that emotions, all three girls were happy that a baby girl named Josie was born. I think Josie was literally the life of all that happened. I think that Josie gave these girls a bit more hope, especially to her mother, Amanda.

And Josie was the real hero.

Sometimes Castro would leave the girls' doors unattended. He would leave it unlocked but whenever Amanda tries to build up all her bravery to go out, he would be right by the door and would see her, then punish her. However, Josie got the privilege to go around the house since he had nothing against that little girl. She was his daughter, after all. One day, Josie decided to find Castro and maybe ask him something.

But, she couldn't find him.

She came running to Amanda and said "Mommy, daddy's blue truck isn't here."

But Amanda told Josie to go look for him in the back of the house.

And that's when Amanda knew she had the opportunity to get help and get. the fuck. out.

She ran downstairs and it was clear that Castro carelessly left the house, but the front door was locked. She then proceeded to scream "Help! I'm Amanda Berry!" and the neighbour opposite the house knew something was wrong. The neighbour beside the house heard her and helped her. During this time, Gina heard Amanda screaming but proceeded to watch TV. I think she was too scared of the outcome whether Amanda would make it out in time Castro comes back. You can find the full vision of Amanda's escape in the documentary. Once she got to the neighbour's house, holding Josie by her side, she got a hold of 911 and told the police to immediately come to Castro's house. They got in and searched and Gina was really afraid if it was Castro. Michelle built the courage to go out of her room and see whether it was him or not. But, she saw the police and stared at them. Then, came hustling towards them.

They were safe. They were free.

As for Ariel Castro? He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison for one thousand years.

He then committed suicide using the bed sheets in his cell.

In honor of International Women's day, I share this story with you guys. This is a story of three girls surviving their worst nightmare. This is the story of three girls staying strong through the most ugliest moments of their life. I don't think any of us can imagine losing ten years of life. These girls had to start again. They had to learn to breathe, eat and sleep. They had to learn that the nightmare is over. When you watch the interview, you will understand the pain, but then you will realize that if these women can survive these challenges they were set to face, then I think that all of us can go through day by day facing the ones we have.

From me to you, happy International Women's Day. Let's not bring each other down rather we should help each other out.