Psychologist: Cleveland captives face new world

Published On: May 08 2013 08:30:20 PM EDT   Updated On: May 08 2013 11:28:23 PM EDT

Held for a decade, only allowed outside twice in all those years. They are just some of the new details emerging from the three Cleveland women whose lives will be forever linked. Dr. Stephen Bloomfield, a forensic psychologist, says it will take some time for those women to acclimate to 2013 and all that has happened since they disappeared.


As the media and the public learns more about what happened to the three women who investigators say were locked in a basement for a decade, Dr. Stephen Bloomfield, a local forensic psychologist, says it will take time for all of the women to acclimate to their new lives.

Bloomfield explained that there's a lot of things that happened over the last decade, a lot of things that the women in Cleveland have never known.

"What exists now that didn't exist 10 years ago. Cellular phones, laptops, iPads, tablets; all those things are things they'll have to get used to," said Dr. Bloomfield.

Bloomfield said no one know if the women have suffered from what's called Stockholm Syndrome, a syndrome where captives over-identify with the suspects even to the point of defending them.

The public has learned that while Amanda Berry fled the house, the two other women did not. Law enforcement sources described them as brainwashed and fearful.

"I think it's going to be a major adjustment for the women," said Bloomfield. "The adjustment takes from a psych perspective, cognitive issues and cognitive memory."

The other issue that makes the Cleveland women's case unique is that the women aren't going home to quiet neighborhoods.

Their story has been captivated by the nation and Bloomfield said becoming an instant celebrity can be difficult to cope with on top of everything else the women will face.

"Immediate celebrity, they have to deal with how they're going to react to everything," said Bloomfield. "We don't know what relationship the women had, whether they formed a natural support group or not. We don't know really what happened between the perpetrators and the victims, the women."


The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus