National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Long term psychological e - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Long term psychological effects

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MOSELLE, MS (WDAM) -

This month is National Child Abuse Prevention month.

According to the National Children’s Alliance, more than 1,000 children died from abuse and neglect in 2014.

In Moselle, two children named Alex and Ivory were only five years old when they were neglected and then removed by their family.

Two years later after living in several foster homes, they were adopted by Brent Broome. Broome said he has always dreamed of being a father.

“These kids come from broken homes and they need a good home and some type of consistency and you know they need to be away from abuse and neglect, so that’s how I got into it,” Broome said. 

At first, it was a challenge for Broome to make his kids feel safe and comfortable with him.

“You know they kick and stomp and bite and spit and you know stuff that you could expect from that past,” Broome said. 

Child Psychologist Thomas Miller said this behavior is common for abused children.

"Aggression is very common and attention span is a problem, often kids are labeled as ADHD when there is abuse at home," Miller said. 

Miller said the impact of neglect on children is sometimes worse than physical abuse because it can impact a child’s personality.

"A child is seeking a relationship that is not there and that can really impact a child’s self esteem," Miller. said "Like ‘Am I not worth enough to that person I'm depending on?’”

Long-term effects from this type of abuse include depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. Miller said the best way to make abused children feel safe is to offer them support, love and understanding.

Broome shows this in his everyday life by spending time with his kids and making sure they know he loves them.

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