Minor Child Sexual Assault Case Study

Total Length: 3474 words ( 12 double-spaced pages)

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The case

In this particular case study, the client is a 15-year-old minor. She has suffered neglect and abuse and has lived with toxic parents and guardians for a while. As of today, she has had residence in 8 separate communities. Her problems started when she was ten in 2010. At that young age she was sexually abused by somebody who was a friend of her family. The man who abused her is now in jail serving for his crime. When the client was abused at such a young age, she specified that she did not receive any intervention, psychological support or counselling from anyone let alone the Human Services Agency. In 2012, she was arrested and put in detention. Her crime: the murder of an older male schoolmate in her school’s compound. She was detained in the country’s only jail and she specified in her statements that she ended up seeing the main who violated her in the facility. As per the client, seeing the man left her emotionally bruised. She stated that she felt and steel feels angry, depressed, and frustrated. The client regrets having been involved in the event that led to her being detained in the facility and states that she did not do the incident on purpose. However, she is of the opinion that sharing her experiences would help other girls like her going through the same experiences. The client openly tells of her anxiety, frustration, and sadness at her predicament. She is also sad that her country’s Education Department cannot assign her to a private or public school setting where she can speak. She says she is ready to visit schools to talk to others about violence and hopes to resume learning soon. As of now, she is out of jail on probation and is involved in community work as the judge determined. She is also on a curfew.

The problems

One thing that is clear is that her responses and statements are concerning. They are concerning because they reveal that her emotional balance and functioning is not okay. Statistics show that young female delinquents who have previously been exposed to sexual abuse often end up with self-regulatory problems and being very aggressive (Bell, Foster & Mash, 2006). According to the Ecological System Theory by Bronfenbrenner (1979), how one grows and develops is based on their environment. This theory provides insight into the client’s behavior. Her development and her present behavior have been affected by her interactions with environmental systems. She has ended up feeling hopeless, feeling not so confident, not having interest in activities she previously enjoyed, and experiencing difficulties making logical and ethical decisions. The client was referred to counselling in a bid to understand the behaviors she is presenting right now and to provide her with the emotional support she seems to clearly need. Her problems begun a long time ago. The client also has a history or abuse in her family. Her previous experiences and what she is going through right now seem to be affecting how she is thinking and the decisions she wants to make.

Client’s perspectives on the problems

It is positive to note this case’s client understands some of her problems. For instance, she regrets involving herself in the event that led to her incarceration and stated that she did not do it on purpose. She also somewhat has a rough understanding of how her decisions have led her to where she is right now and how her decisions plus her experiences have made her not to grow up like other kids. When she stated her feelings of anxiety and frustration at her Education Department’s reluctance to place her in an educational system, it meant that she understood how her current circumstances were limiting her options and that she was willing to change.

Issues and factors affecting the problem system

Through a micro-system evaluation, she which looks at her current environment, it was revealed that the client has issues with her mom and that the two have poor communications. Through a meso-system evaluation, in which her interactions with her friends, her school, and other persons close to her were examined, it was revealed that she had very limited interactions with others. She interacts with groups that have high rates of crime, she is friends with anti-social people, she stays out late, she breaks her probation terms, and she is still out of school. The revelations from the meso-system assessment raise concerns as she is still a young girl who is developing. They are concerning because it is interactions with social peers, schoolmates, and other individuals of generally good character that can reinforce or inculcate positive behavior.
However, despite her interactions with anti-social people and other groups in high crime rate neighborhoods, she is determined to rejoin school and change her circumstances.

Through an exo-system evaluation, in which interactions and structures not directly involved with her pathway are examined, it was revealed that the client was angry that her mother was unemployed. She thought that her mother’s unemployment status was because of she was lazy. And since her mother did not have a job and stayed at home a lot, she did not want to stay at home when her mother was around. Through a macro-system assessment, in which her society’s concrete structures were examined e.g. the cultural beliefs and expectations, it was revealed that her further constantly complains about how she dresses and claims that she is not modest enough. However much her father talked, she did not change because she thought how she dressed revealed her identity and she had no interest in dressing to please anyone. Not even her father. Her view is in agreement with what Erik Erikson (1993) talks about in identity vs role confusion in his 1993 work.

Lastly, through chrono-system evaluation, in which the client’s behavioral consistency, her psychological functioning, her current environment, and her parent’s divorce were examined, it was…

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…be completely established within the boundaries of this particular case, its divided approach in addressing child abuse has left behind several gaps. Though this governmental agency is mainly intended to prevent cases of child abuse, accomplishing this task appears to be somewhat challenging. The multi-sectorial tactic as suggested has not completely lived up to its expectations. The responsibilities and duties of certain agencies and sectors have not been clearly defines, and with such, negligence and duplication of roles might be future concerns. Public confidence and trust in the Child Protection Agency are a primary issue, and in some cases it might even be described as jeopardized. This mistrust might be an outcome of unreliability and inefficiency in responses from clients who seek assistance.

The lack of awareness children rights and the limited access to social help agencies continue being a gap that leaves abuse victims isolated from the services of protection that ought to buffer the impacts from the severe risks. Preventative tactics, actually more reactive than preventive, assume a medicinal model, which focuses more on intervention for the victims together with their families and not on reinforcing the units of supports and acquiring support from the general community. Absence of human, financial, and physical support are issues that comprise the agency’s quality of services. Even though the agency has taken steps to correct this issue, the problem is still existing. There is no capacity building and training to realize the child protection responsibility.

Law Enforcement Agency

A considerable aspect of the duties of Law Agency personnel in whichever society falls within human rights protection. Included in their responsibilities is protection of kids against abuse and neglect. Lack of skilled officers and postponement in initial reactions in the region of child mistreatment investigations widens the gap to successful handling of this wrongdoing. Broadening the gap even more is the subject of a solid reaction towards child abuse. Additionally, is the community is money trapped, it then follows that as an outcome, the law enforcing agency is not going to have the funds to devote to numerous physical and human resources. With that, the requirement for organized multi-sectorial tactics between agencies of child protection and the police increases. Even though considerable steps were taken over the years, the issue is still existent. Administrators are not constantly willingly available to help abuse victims.


All children have the right to a danger-free life. As an expert who directly works with kids, it is quite discouraging to come across abuse victims. The police together with other law enforcing agencies have the duty to protect, but not unless the gaps are closed, children will always be vulnerable. The center of child abuse in the past is now modified to include a tough approach. A tough approach that concentrates on the child’s strength to endure the risks of unfortunate events is a great approach to take in dealing with the case of the client in this paper. Resilient children are tough….....

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Bell, D., Foster, S. L., & Mash, E. J. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of behavioral and emotional problems in girls. Springer Science & Business Media.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press

Coulshed, V. and Orme. J. (2012). Social Work Practice. Palgrave Macmillan. London

Durlak, J. A. (1998). Common risk and protective factors in successful prevention programs. American journal of orthopsychiatry, 68(4), 512-520.

Hepworth, D.H., Rooney, R.H., Rooney, G.H., Strom-Gottfried, K. & Larsen, J.A. (2009). Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills. Eighth Edition. California: Brooks/Cole.

Johnson, E. J., & Worme-Charles, C. J. P. (2016). Case analysis of child abuse and neglect in Trinidad. CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK, 87.

Malhotra, S., & Biswas, P. (2006). Behavioral and psychological assessment of child sexual abuse in clinical practice. International journal of behavioral consultation and therapy, 2(1), 17.

Rutter, M. (2007). Resilience, competence, and coping. Child Abuse and Neglect 31(3), 205-209.

Zastrow, C.H. (2003). The Practice of Social Work: Applications of Generalist and Advanced Content. Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning, California.

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