Abused Helena teen faces long road to recovery

HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — A 14-year-old boy hospitalized after being held in isolation by his foster parents will face a long road to recovery. Even if he survives the physical abuse and fully recovers, he will still have to deal with the mental and emotional effects of the trauma.

According to Mental Health Therapist Xavier Bryant at Impact Family Counseling in Vestavia, one of the hardest things victims of child abuse have to learn is how to trust people. He said a child learns from its parents how to interact with others and that parents set the bar for how children can expect others to treat them.

“The severity of the physical health… that sends a strong message mentally and emotionally to the young person about adults, about people that care, about what love and care and healthy touch is,” said Bryant.

He said there’s hope, but there is also precedent. Many victims of child abuse end up being abusive to others in their life because that’s the behavior they’ve learned is acceptable.

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