Why didn't abused teen seek help? No easy answerA Madison teen who was starved, beaten and sexually abused for years had run away on several occasions, and said she used to sneak outside and dig in the garbage for food.
By: Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press, Superior Telegram
MILWAUKEE (AP) — An expert says a Madison teen who says she was starved, beaten and sexually assaulted likely developed coping mechanisms common among abused children.
Ernie Allen with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says the human brain can only tolerate so much trauma and fear. He says abused children tend to focus on determining what they have to do to survive.
The severely malnourished girl said she tried to run away several times and sometimes sneaked outside to scour through garbage for discarded food. But she never knocked on a neighbor's door or otherwise sought help.
Allen says other abused and abducted kids have reacted similarly. For example, a Missouri boy was abducted and terrorized, yet even when his kidnapper gave him some freedoms he never went to police.