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Stress Trauma Essay: Case Study of Samantha
Samantha is a traumatised child coming from a violent family with an authoritarian and abusive male figure (Hornor, 2005). She needs support, understanding and guidance to re-discover herself, forget her family problems and excel in class. The fact that she struggles to concentrate in class or get her classwork done shows that she is emotionally unstable due to conditions at home. Her nervousness and shyness and lack of attention confirm that she is regularly abused and intimidated by her father. Samantha’s nervousness when near adult males confirms the fact that a male person in her life, most probably her father or guardian, is the source of her stress. In spite of the circumstances facing her, she seems bright. This means that if her stressors are removed, she could be the best student in class.
Given that there are no home contact numbers, there are high chances that her family is poor, and ever-moving. The father is not allowed to visit her because he is very abusive. If allowed, he would still misuse the visitation rights. Samantha has changed school five times in three years either because of violence from the father which necessitated their relocation or lack of understanding from the part of school management, teachers and even fellow students. Evidence from the last three days indicates that Samantha’s mother was abused by the father and she had to take care of her mother although she is young. Samantha is clearly a traumatised young girl who needs help to overcome the circumstances surrounding her life (Holt, Buckley & Whelan, 2008).
Samantha’s mother, just like Samantha, needs help. If what her husband does to her leaves Samantha traumatised, then she could be facing a very difficult life. Samantha’s mother needs to be taken to a safe place away from the husband until her physical and psychological wounds get healed. Unfortunately, it would take a lot of time to heal her trauma. Once she lives in a calm place aware from her abusive husband, she should be taken through the trauma recovery process.
Samantha’s case indicates that her mother has already gone past the warning, alarm and impact phases of the traumatised victim response stages. She is already a victim of abuse. The next best thing is to go through the rescue phase, the recovery phase and the reconstruction phase. The rescue phase demands that the school takes action to ensure than Samantha and her mother relocates to a place where Samantha’s father would not find them. The same phase dictates that law and order should be followed so that the abusive father is reported to authorities, arrested, arraigned in court and probably jailed. The next phase, the recovery phase, involves helping Samantha’s mother and her daughter to recover from the trauma. According to Socolar (2000), in so doing, they would be relieved. The phase also helps them to make adjustments which would protect them from a repeat of similar occurrences. The reconstruction phase would give them something that would keep them busy. Samantha would be loved at school and be engaged in studies. Her mother should also be given work to keep her thoughts engaged. This would help her move from self-sympathy and forget her emotional distress.
Samantha’s teacher can build her trust and comfort level at school by giving her the assurance, love and care she misses from the father. As a trained teacher, the teacher has high chances of using skills and tact to play the role of a father to Samantha. Male teachers should be encouraged to be calm and tender towards Samantha in order to restore her trust in grown up males. The best way of keeping her from thinking about her woes is by working alongside her. Constant reminders and close attention to Samantha would make her feel safe and prevent her from having daydreams about her violent father (Socolar, 2000). Although it would take a long time before Samantha and her mother overcomes the trauma, keeping them busy and showing them love are the surest ways of rehabilitating them.
Holt, S., Buckley, H., & Whelan, S. (2008). The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and young people: A review of the literature. Child abuse & neglect, 32(8), 797-810.
Hornor, G. (2005). Domestic violence and children. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 19(4), 206-212.
Socolar, R. R. (2000). Domestic violence and children. NC Med J, 61, 279-283.