Most people would recognize milder forms of the same inaction that is a coping mechanism...said Dr. Bruce Perry.
"This happens all the time. The number of individuals who would immediately respond to an opportunity where they could get away is very small compared to the number of people who would have that paralysis and insecurity and confusion about what to do," said Perry...
The vulnerable girl might have been shamed, beaten or threatened with violence and only after many missed opportunities did she probably work up the courage to act, Perry said. "It's pretty remarkable that she'd do that," he said. "The power that must have been exerted to keep an entire family like that for so long must have been pretty sophisticated."
Inaction as a coping mechanism. Emotionally wounded animal who won't move until it's healed. Never allowed to heal. Never able to move.