Amanda Berry and the two other victims of the Cleveland kidnappings are now reemerging into a different world from the one they left 10 years ago – and as different people. Experts' advice: Go slowly.
After a decade of being held captive in a Cleveland home, three women freed Monday night face a healing process that will not be easy or happen overnight, say experts.
In 10 years, the world has changed, and they have changed. The youngest captive, Gina DeJesus, was kidnapped at age 14. The mother of another of the captives, Amanda Berry, died three years after she was abducted, and reports suggest that a 6-year-old girl freed from the house Monday could be Ms. Berry’s daughter.
For women who have had little control of their own lives for years, the transition back into a normal life can be overwhelming, and the struggle to regain a sense of control often begins with the need to tell their own story in their own time and on their own terms. The seeds of recovery, experts add, often bloom only with time and no small amount of love.
“It’s going to take a lot of understanding and patience from friends and family to try to help them lead the life they want to,” says Jim Hmurovich, president of Prevent Child Abuse America, an advocacy group in Chicago.
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