Cleveland Kidnap Victims Step Out, but Experts Advise Caution


The three women might feel the need to go to public events to show themselves and others that they are taking back control of their lives and moving on, Rando said.

"We shouldn't be surprised if perhaps at some time they wouldn't feel as joyous as they do now and that doesn't mean that they're doing anything wrong now," she said. "It's just speaking to the fact that when you recover from a traumatic event, it's two steps forward, one step back.

"You have to have a process perspective; this is going to unfold and twist and turn and have a great deal of movement and fluidity," Rando said. "It will take a while to get all the pieces so that they can bend their minds around them and work through and move forward with this having happened to them."

Drexel youth counselor Williams, who has also not been in contact with or treated any of the Cleveland women, has been uneasy with some of the exposure.

"It's really hard to say there's a certain, specific way that people need to behave," Williams said. "Having said that, I'm somewhat concerned about the level of exposure. I'm not sure how healthy that is."

He said the attention and sudden celebrity could lead the women into thinking that everything is OK when it might not be and possibly even leave them confused when the limelight wanes.

Williams hat it is easy for anyone to get caught up in fame and that the people around Knight, Berry and DeJesus need to have their best interests at heart and provide grounding in order to "ensure optimum psychological and emotional development."

"It would be hard for me to believe, as a mental health professional, that that grounding is there and that somehow in a few months they've been rehabilitated and they are strong enough to deal with this onslaught of attention that it feels like people are pushing them into," he said.

"What's most important now is just that they get healthy, that they get grounded, that they feel safe," Williams said. "Because without that foundation, then things fall apart."

The women's captor, Ariel Castro, was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 1,000 years by an Ohio judge Aug. 1. Berry and DeJesus made statements through family members and attorneys, but Knight appeared in court to make her statement.

"You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back. As for the 11 years in hell, now your hell is just beginning," Knight told the courtroom.

"I will overcome all this that happened but you will face hell for eternity. From this moment on, I will not let you define me or effect who I am. I will live on."

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