Now a 30-year-old married mother of two living in rural Pennsylvania, Beers reveals details of her ordeal in her autobiography, "Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story."
Beers describes the life of abuse she led before her kidnapping.
"My childhood consisted of enslavement by my godmother and my godmother's husband," she told CNN's Soledad O'Brien. "Not only that," she continues, "but also sexual abuse by my godmother's husband; verbal, physical and emotional abuse by both my godmother herself and her husband; and neglect by my mother."
After her rescue, Beers lived with a foster family, who she says was "instrumental" to her recovery.
"Personally, what my foster parents did for me was they kept me secluded and kept me out of the public eye for so long, and that gave me the ability to recover," Beers told New York radio station 1010 WINS.
Now that the trauma is behind them, should the three Cleveland survivors look back?
It depends on their personality.
Some, such as Beers, will refuse to speak of it again. "I try not to think about it," she said. "There's no point in thinking about the past. I've gone through therapy. I've said my piece."
"I tend to believe as a therapist that this is less helpful," said Bonnie Forrest.
Instead, "you have to come to believe that it wasn't your fault and that you made the best choices at the time to survive -- no matter what that took," she said. "Survival is something to be proud of -- proud that you have those resources -- and you go on."
For Smart, being happy offers the best punishment for her abductor.
"By dwelling on the past and holding on to the pain and the hurt that you've had to go through, that's only allowing him to steal more of your life away from you and he doesn't deserve that."
There's no looking back. She's facing forward, pointed toward the rest of her life.