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Women'sMarch Cleveland to host My Body My Choice Seymour Avenue anniversary rally as to the escape of the Ariel Castro kidnapping and rape victims....Head organizer Kathy Wray Coleman said that violence against women and girls in Cleveland is escalating

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Pictured are Seymour Avenue in Cleveland escape victims  Michelle Knight (wearing red hair), Amanda Berry (wearing ponytail) and Gina DeJesus (wearing pink blouse)  and  Michelle Knight, the trio  abducted, raped and held captive for a decade by the late serial rapist Ariel Castro

CLEVELAND, Ohio-May 6, 2022 marks the anniversary of the escape, after a decade of captivity, of Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry from the late Ariel Castro's since demolished Seymour Avenue home on Cleveland's near west side and the community, led by activists, will gather to remember the incident. The annual anniversary rally will be held at 5:30 pm at 2207 Seymour Avenue in front of Castro's since demolished home on Fri, May 6, which is the ninth year anniversary since Berry, DeJesus and Knight got away from Castro after a neighbor, upon hearing Berry's cry for help, broke down the home door and rescued her. (Contact organizers Kathy Wray Coleman at (216) 659-0473 and Alfred Porter Jr at (216) 804-7462 for
more information).

Organizers said that activists will also rally relative to women's reproductive rights, given that the U.S. Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationwide.

A local guitar player, divorced father of two, and former Cleveland schools bus driver, Castro hanged himself in prison in September of 2013, a month into his life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was a sad character and a serial rapist of children and women.

Knight was a young woman when Castro abducted her, and DeJesus and Berry were teenagers. The kidnappings caught international attention and highlight the dangers women and girls face in Cleveland Ohio, which has been dubbed one of the most dangerous major American cities for Black women via data compiled  by CityLab

Led by activist groups Women's March Cleveland Imperial Women Coalition, the Laura Cowan Foundation, Black on Black Crime Inc and the Carl Stokes Brigade, greater Clevelanders rally annually on the anniversary date of the escape of the Seymour Avenue  kidnapping victims, who were raped repeatedly by Castro. He even had the nerve to father a child by Berry during the ordeal, and would come to missings persons rallies sponsored by community activists and famly members of the captive woman and teens.

His since demolished home on Seymour Avenue would later come to be known in Hollywood terms as "the House of Horrors."
Activists, elected officials and community members and mothers of women and girls who have been raped and/or murdered in Cleveland are among the speakers at Friday's anniversray rally,  and supporters of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and the Journey Center for Safety and Healing are also slated to attend the event, organizers said.

"Activists will rally for the reprpoductive rights of women and we invite city and county officials to the event to come tell us what has been done to find missing women and children and to minimize violence against women in the largely Black city of Cleveland as crimes against women and girls, including rape and murder, continue to escalate," said activist Kathy Wray Coleman, who has been the head organizer of all but one of the Seymour Avenue anniversary rallies and is a former high school biology teacher who leads Women's March Cleveland and the Imperial Women Coalition (Editor's note: The Imperial Women Coalition was formed following the murders of 11 Black women by the late serial killer Anthony Sowell on Imperial Avenue on Cleveland's largely Black east side).

Activist Laura Cowan, a CNN Hero and domestic violence survivor, said that "while we are pleased that the Ariel Castro victims got to safety we still have so many more missing women who are not getting the attention they got, particularly women of color."

Cleveland activist women in particular say the anniversary event will also address the Violence Against Women Act, local, county, statewide and national public policy changes sought, and a demand for resources as to violence against women and children, human trafficking, and the epidemic of missing persons.

Statistics on nationwide violence against women and girls include the following:
-Violence against women and girls, including rape and murder, remains an epidemic, as does human trafficking
-Women and girls ages 12-34 are at the highest risk for sexual assault
-Poor women are 12 times more likely to get raped
-One out of every six American women has experience an attempted or completed rape and 22 percent of African-American women and 14 percent of Hispanic-American women experience at least one rape or attempted rape in a lifetime. and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 May 2022 23:48

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