By Jessica Kartalija

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Michelle Knight spent 11 years in captivity. She was kidnapped, raped and tortured by a man who abducted her and two other women, and imprisoned them in his Cleveland home.

On Wednesday, Knight, who now goes by the name  Lillian Rose Lee, was in Baltimore in support of the thousands of Maryland women who are victims of intimate partner violence.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

It was August of 2002, when 21-year-old Michelle Knight was abducted. Their abductor, Ariel Castro, physically and sexually abused the three women inside a Cleveland house of horrors.

Now, Knight has become an advocate for victims of abuse and violence

“I am looking forward to the future and trying to just live life, and be happy.  Its really a struggle for me because being in a tragic situation, is difficult and we do have some memories, but we don’t have to let those memories live our life,” says Lee.

At the House of Ruth Spring Luncheon,  Lilly shared her story and how she has rebuilt her life since she and the other women were rescued three years ago.

“I appreciate life so much more because so many things were taken away from me.  Like air, water, food.  Just living,” she says.

“The fact that she has been able to work through such severe trauma and rebuild her life with the support of so many people around her is an example for so many people in our community, who are also in the process of rebuilding their lives,” said Sandi Timmins, executive director of the House of Ruth.

Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith also spoke about responding to domestic violence calls.

Lilly says she wants victims to know that it is possible to live a happy life after the abuse.

“I ‘m not going to let that defeat me.  I am going to be who  I  am, not what my situation was,” she says.

Lilly rose spent almost 4,000 days in captivity.

She has since written a book, and says she wants to help victims live a full life again.

More than 600 people attended the House of Ruth luncheon to hear Lilly speak.


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