BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio-- She's packing up the past, while looking toward the future.
Leona Davis was given a gift of a new life after years of turmoil, incest and abuse. "..she would tie us up to the pole and strip us butt naked and beat us. And then I went through the rape with Anthony and a couple of other family members in the home," Davis said.
Davis, 54, is the niece of Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell.
Speaking from her home in Bedford Heights, Davis said at the age of nine, she and other siblings moved in with Sowell's family in East Cleveland after her mother died.
Davis said there were repeated beatings and sexual abuse by the convicted killer, who was 11 years old at the time.
Leona said she never told anyone about her abuse, until she learned of Sowell's arrest for the Imperial Avenue murders.
It was a move that would be life-changing.
Davis said, "I go off of all psychiatric drugs. I no longer go to mental health, and I decided there were so many people out there that helped me, now it's time for me to do the same in return and help other people."
Davis now wants to raise money and awareness about child abuse, rape and incest.
She's started a Go Fund Me account, with a goal of raising $10,000 to be given directly to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
Sarah Trimble, the chief development officer at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center said, "I think it's just absolutely astounding that she's using her voice and her efforts, her networks to raise this money to help other individuals who has had similar experiences."
Davis is now packing up to move to Florida, but said her mission in Cleveland won't end until her mission is fulfilled. “…to go and help people that's been abused, and that needs shelter, a safe place to go."
For donations of $10 or more, you will receive a blue silicone rubber wristband with the inscription, "Stop Child Abuse."