Police were at the door of this home. There was “no answer”, but that does not mean suspicion. It’s a right and as much as we know that the police were knocking at the door where these three young women were being held captive they were not there because they knew the women were there.
There will always be those “what if” thoughts. So, what if the police shouted out “Police” we could speculate the women may have started pounding on the walls. On the other hand, they could also believe they were being “tested” and not respond at all.
They were at this house because of an unrelated incident that happened during the employment as a school bus driver. Yes, it was a missed opportunity but it’s unlikely they would have detected anything unusual. If the suspect’s own brothers did not know anything he obviously figured out how to cover every thing up, until he made this one mistake a week ago.
Teen & early adulthood vulnerable
We’ve all been through those teen years and I’m fairly certain that everyone has experienced at least one situation in their years that could have ended very differently if another took advantage of vulnerable days.
This sparked another memory with my childhood best friend. If we were ever missing I’m sure others would have said, “They would never go anywhere with a stranger”!
I’d love for others to take a moment to think back to those vulnerable years and share one experience that could have had a very different outcome if another took advantage of the situation. These young women need to know that they did nothing wrong. The person that did wrong was the criminal!
An ordinary teen another example
Cleveland, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my example of one situation it highlights how easily anyone could fall prey to criminal behaviors because of perceived trusting relationships. At the age of 17 and 16 respectively, myself and my childhood best friend put ourselves in an unknowingly vulnerable situation. Was it ignorance? Naive? Trusting? It likely was a combination of naïvety, trust, and ignorance.
We never even thought that anything could happen. It simply never crossed our minds. Now, that isn’t to say things didn’t happen years ago. Many things did, and we both had many areas of violence in our life. Media attention was not what it is today.
We went to see the movie “Love Story” at Parmatown mall. We took a bus home, but it was the wrong bus line. Instead of getting home we were lost in a dark area we did not know. Neither one of us would have been likely to take a ride from a stranger, or from anyone we knew. We did just what no one else would believe.
The bus driver offered to drive us to our home. We took that ride and fortunately we arrived safely! This also points out that many people are trustworthy individuals, and simply trying to help.
Had anything gone array everyone would have said, “They’d never go anywhere voluntarily”, and you never know what you would do unless you are in that situation. One of these teens knew the perpetrator, it was her best friend’s father. I’m pretty certain most of us have taken rides from people related to our best friend. That’s why we call them our “best friend”, we trust them and their relationships…until they no longer are trustworthy or we take different paths in life.
To sum up this sad situation with these lovely young women and a child. I believe in them, and know they will become happy adults and child. They were assessed at the hospital where my nursing career as I once knew it, ended. It’s the best place to be with a complicated situation. Besides, this decade of torture for these young women happened less then one mile of MetroHealth Systems.
The neighbors had no reason to be suspicious. If they were, they would have reported it. Everyone has met strange people, but strange doesn’t equal criminal! The suspects deception was incredible. He deceived many adults, including his own siblings so it’s no wonder he was able to deceive inexperienced teens.
Many people don’t know what is happening within their own home, their own family, so to expect neighbors to know what is happening is outrageous. Neighbors are not to blame. Even the most astute neighbor would not be able to detect this level of deception. The emotional trauma these neighbors are feeling must be insurmountable. Neighbors reacted when they had the opportunity and they rescued the women when they heard the calls for help.
The slogan “If you see something, say something.” This has very literal meaning. If you only suspect something, it’s unlikely police would investigate. They usually never do anything unless something drastic happens. Hence, this is a primary reason for so many deaths from domestic violence.
Police respond … a fragmented system
Police officers respond to things witnessed, but in a large city prioritizing calls may put your concern at the bottom of the list. Even when they do respond it may be minimized. A call here and there of concern may not put the entire picture together.
If different officers respond, it’s less likely anyone will put the pieces of the puzzle together. (Similar to a fragmented health care system issues when one has a complex case and specialists are involved or one seeks another opinion) This is another fragmented system where no one links the problems together until disaster, terrorism, violence becomes insurmountable.
It is time for this entire community to begin healing. Their healing will help these young women, child, families and friends to recover. Pray for the three young women and child found alive in Cleveland, Ohio. May all their emotional needs be supported.
What type of situation have you been in that no one else would suspect?
If anyone is interested in donations to these young women there is only one legal fund at this time. Cleveland Courage Fund has been set up to help. Click on the link below:
**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN.