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Rescued Cleveland women 'happy and safe,' attorneys say

By Dominique Dodley, CNN
updated 1:27 AM EDT, Thu May 23, 2013
Amanda Berry speaks in a <a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG0WePdZoxg&amp;feature=youtu.be' target='_blank'>video released on YouTube</a> on Monday, July 8, thanking people for support and privacy. Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped from a Cleveland home on May 6, 2013, after being held captive for nearly a decade. Amanda Berry speaks in a video released on YouTube on Monday, July 8, thanking people for support and privacy. Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped from a Cleveland home on May 6, 2013, after being held captive for nearly a decade.
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Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Photos: Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
Kidnapped teens found decade later
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus are still healing, they say
  • Lawyers call outpouring of public support "nothing short of remarkable"
  • They say the women are thankful for $650,000 from more than 6,800 donors
  • The women were rescued this month after allegedly being held captive for close to a decade

(CNN) -- Three women who were rescued this month after being held captive in a Cleveland house for close to a decade "are happy and safe," and overwhelmed by the public's support, their attorneys said in a statement released Wednesday.

Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus "want you to know they're doing well," the attorneys' statement reads.

"They are happy and safe and continue to heal, a process that requires time and privacy," attorneys Kathy Joseph, Heather Kimmel, Henry Hilow and James Wooley said.

Berry, 27; DeJesus, 23; and Knight, 32 -- and a 6-year-old daughter born to Berry in captivity -- were found alive on May 6 in a Cleveland home, police said. The women are believed to have been abducted years ago -- in 2002, 2003 and 2004 -- and held captive at the home of Ariel Castro, 52, according to police.

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Castro was charged with kidnapping and rape after Berry escaped from the home with the aid of neighbors, authorities said.

The attorneys said that the outpouring of public support -- including donations to the Cleveland Courage Fund, which the lawyers say will be used to establish trusts to aid the three women and Berry's daughter -- "has been nothing short of remarkable."

Source: Michelle Knight was Cleveland suspect's main 'punching bag'

"To have complete strangers offer loving support in the form of money, goods and services, reaching out to help like a family member, is appreciated in ways that are impossible to put into words," the lawyers said. "Amanda, Gina and Michelle, who have asked for nothing, are frankly overwhelmed by it all.

"You have touched their hearts in ways they will never forget. So again, they collectively say 'Thank you. Thank you so much!' "

The fund has collected a total of $650,000 from more than 6,800 donors, according to Hennes Paynter Communications, which is representing the women.

How the abductions happened

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Ohio women found
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Wed May 14, 2014
Michelle Knight wasn't the only one being held by Ariel Castro. But she knew she was different.
updated 12:05 PM EDT, Tue May 6, 2014
Michelle Knight remembers exactly how Ariel Castro lured her into his home.
updated 7:07 PM EST, Wed November 6, 2013
Michelle Knight squeezes her eyes shut and cries as she listens to the 911 call that led police to rescue her from the house where Ariel Castro held her hostage for more than a decade.
updated 6:36 PM EDT, Wed September 4, 2013
Ariel Castro who was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years for kidnapping, raping and holding captive three women was found hanging in his prison cell.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Thu August 1, 2013
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus weren't in the courtroom. But their diaries gave authorities a window into the horror they suffered for a decade.
updated 1:37 PM EDT, Sun August 4, 2013
They were living in hell, and Ariel Castro did all he could to make sure they'd never escape it.
updated 6:38 AM EDT, Mon August 5, 2013
Michelle Knight, one of three women kidnapped by Ariel Castro, returned Friday to the Cleveland house where she was chained up and tormented for 11 years, a neighbor said.
updated 2:22 PM EDT, Thu August 1, 2013
When her chance came, kidnapping victim Michelle Knight lit into Ariel Castro, the man who held her captive and raped her in his Cleveland home for a decade.
updated 9:54 AM EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
The woman's voice wavered, just for a moment.
updated 9:56 AM EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
From the outside, the home at 2207 Seymour Avenue looked like most any other in Cleveland's Westside neighborhood.
updated 10:06 AM EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
For the first time since their rescue, the world is hearing directly from the three women who were held captive in Cleveland for a decade.
updated 3:57 AM EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
For his victims, Thursday was roughly a decade in coming.
updated 8:25 PM EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
In retrospect, there were plenty of signs that something was wrong.
updated 1:10 PM EDT, Thu August 1, 2013
For the first time, take a look inside the Cleveland house where three women were held captive for a decade.
updated 6:55 AM EDT, Mon May 13, 2013
How the macabre enslavement of two girls and a woman began has deeply disturbed a nation, if not the world.
updated 11:37 AM EDT, Sun May 19, 2013
When the police arrived at Castro's house, it was almost peaceful. As if nobody else was there. And then they heard the sound of scurrying feet upstairs.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon May 13, 2013
Ariel Castro's brothers say he's "a monster" who should rot in jail and they "want the world to know" they had no idea their brother was holding women captive.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Two were just teenagers when they were kidnapped, but the three women have finally been found a decade later.
updated 5:33 AM EDT, Wed May 8, 2013
When Amanda Berry screamed for help through a crack in the front door of the house where she was being held, she set in motion an end to roughly a decade of captivity for herself and two other women.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
His Cleveland neighbors are trying to come with grips with the two personas -- the first, they thought they knew, the other, the one that authorities describe.
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