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More Than a Statistic ? A Former Victim Offers Hope to the Hurting

Contact: Adam Cothes, 360-802-9758, adam@winepressgroup.com

ENUMCLAW, Wash., October 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- An estimated 2,383 children are confirmed as abused or neglected every day in the United States, reports the Children's Defense Fund. Of those, 1,460 die every year because of that abuse or neglect.

And according to psychologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the result of neglect or social isolation can have long-lasting affects on the ones who survive. Dr. Seth Pollak, a developmental psychopathologist and PhD, emphasizes a direct correlation between social attachments formed early in life and the long-term behavioral responses in children who experience a prominent lack of emotional and physical contact.

However, these children are not without hope, they've just got a greater challenge before them, says Dr. Pollak in a BBC news release. "It's extremely important that people don't think this work implies that these children are somehow permanently delayed."

Author Shirlee Simpson was one of those children. Originally from Indiana and the fourth of five children, Shirlee Simpson grew up believing she was an unwanted inconvenience, and that something was terribly wrong with her. Raised as a toddler primarily by an abusive nanny and an older brother, Simpson is a human counterpart to the growing body of statistics for childhood victimization.

And Simpson concurs with the likes of Dr. Pollak; there is hope in the midst of the hurt. Her new book, "Eternal Embrace," is a memoir documenting her childhood, one characterized by neglect, as well as emotional and physical abuse.

Rather than harboring bitterness and anger, however, Simpson views the hardships of life as part of the process of life, as part of her grief healing. Part of that healing involved telling her story to others; because as she began to share, she realized the impact it made on her listeners and how God used her story of broken dreams to change lives.

"As the reader walks through the pages of my life's journey of mistakes and triumphs, heartaches and tears, they will be able to use God's Word to shine His love into their own pasts and identify His purpose and plan for their lives."

A mother of three sons, two stepchildren, and grandmother of eight, Shirlee currently operates as the Executive Assistant to the President for the Latin America Mission, a missionary sending agency to Latin America.