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Crown Ward Survivor

January 13, 2012 permalink

Former crown ward Roch Longueépée suffers from a head injury sustained in care of Prince Edward Island. His profile is in the enclosed article, you can find him on Facebook in the group Restoring Dignity.



Activist says early diagnosis needed for head trauma

Roch Longueepee
Roch Longueepee

Roch Longueepee fighting to raise awareness of brain injuries in abuse victims

After years of physical abuse, Roch Longueepee says he has a long list of health problems to show for it.

Blurred vision, migraines, attention problems, slurred speech and blackouts were just some of the things he said he had to deal with because of abuse at the hands of caregivers at home and at the Mount Herbert Orphanage.

Now he’s fighting to raise awareness of brain injuries in abuse victims.

“It’s too late for me, but it’s not too late for others,” Longueepee said in an interview with The Guardian.

Through his work with the advocacy group Restoring Dignity, Longueepee said brain injury discussions usually focus on athletes or members of the military, but victims of abuse should be included too.

“There’s a lot more research that needs to be done in this area,” he said.

Longueepee, who is from Charlottetown but lives in Nova Scotia, lived with different family members as a child after his father committed suicide when he and his twin brother were two months old. He also spent time at Mount Herbert Orphanage and, at one time, was a ward of the state.

During that time, he said he suffered head trauma along with other physical and sexual abuse.

A doctor has since confirmed Longueepee has a traumatic brain injury from repeated physical abuse, which has had a negative impact on him.

In a report Longueepee provided, the doctor said the effects are permanent and severe.

Longueepee said child abuse survivors with head trauma need to get tested and treated.

He called it historical trauma, which he said is something people can live with for a long time but not recognize the symptoms and it’s not just a mental health issue.

“It’s much more than that.”

Longueepee, who turns 42 this month, said early intervention is key to treating issues that arise from head trauma.

“We can better accommodate and treat these kinds of conditions earlier on than we can into adult years, like for someone who’s at the age I’m at now,” he said.

While it’s too late for him, it’s not too late for other children entering the child welfare system and government needs to improve how it assesses them, Longueepee said.

“It’s really, really important because if we don’t pick up those signs then we are going to be dealing with them well into adult years.”

Source: Charlottetown Guardian