Demographic information, and current living situation

Part A

Presenting issue, Demographic information, and current living situation

The case study is about a thirteen-year-old female teen called Veronica. Veronica is a heterosexual Spanish girl who survived sex trafficking. She was born in the Republic of Guatemala but currently living in the United States. She speaks only Spanish but attends school here in the United States. She is in high school in the ninth grade and lives with her mother and her young sister nine years of age.

Birth and Developmental History

Veronica was born in Guatemala; however, from birth, her childhood is filled with challenges. For example, when she was three years of age, her parents parted ways of living her under the care of her mother’s sister.  Since her mother was not able to fend for her, she saw it better to move in with her sister to reduce the cost of living. However, life in Guatemala became unbearable, and she was left with no choice but to look for greener pastures in a foreign land. In effect, at the age of six, her mum went for the united states. She entrusted her sister to take care of her; however, this was the start of her misery. Through her regular visits and occasional phone calls, Veronica kept in contact with her mother.

Furthermore, her father lived by and occasionally would reconnect, although she found it challenging to build a relationship with her biological father. At age twelve, things went south when her aunt, who worked as a sex worker, forced her to engage in the immoral act of sex trafficking. Additionally, she treated Veronica as her slave and would make her smoke drugs before forcing her to engage in sexual intercourse with different men. This act went on for about a year until when she was able to sneak a phone. She immediately called her mother and explained her situation to her. Since her mother was not a legal U.S citizen, she had to look for a way to smuggle Veronica into the country from Guatemala. Immediately her mother contacted her “coyote”- a smuggler. Therefore, after two long months of planning and traveling in a truck, the smuggler was able to smuggle Veronica into the United States border. However, it came with its share of trouble. Along the way, the smuggler used her for sex trafficking as he allowed men to engage in sexual acts with her for money. In addition, the truck they were traveling in was inbounded by United States immigration officers who arrested everyone expects the smuggler who was able to escape. Veronica was detained for three weeks going through numerous questioning as well as investigations. Finally, Veronica was able to reunite with her mother.

School and Social Relationship

Once Veronica was reunited with her mother, and her safety was assured, it meant one thing that, for a very long time, Veronica will live her life as a typical teenager. She enrolled in high school in the ninth grade. Although she finds it a challenge to communicate in English, her experience makes it hard to trust anyone, especially men. This had a significant impact on her social relationship as she could not trust men anymore.

Family members and relationships

Veronica is very close to her family members. Her mother has been the rock in her life as she is the only person; she finds it easy to trust and communicate with.  However, she talks of her younger sister even though there is no much rapport between the two. Veronica states she is not used to her sister, but she is working on building a friendship bond. The care, love, and concern her family is giving her makes her full of life and free with fewer worries.

Health and Medical Issues

Veronica attends therapy for victims who have experienced human trafficking. She was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her constant flashback of the horrible incidences and fear of another occurrence forced her mother to seek therapeutic help. In her therapy sessions, she was given her support system that was aimed at improving her self-esteem as well as ways of managing trauma symptoms. The fact that Veronica is very conscious made it challenging for the therapist to affirm her. Nevertheless, the use of a trauma-informed curriculum for adolescents started the process of healing and trauma reduction. Therefore, adapting assertive behaviors and ground techniques like tapping writing, washing her face when evil thoughts come to her will bring her to the present.

Spiritual Development

Veronica is showing a high capacity to recover from her painful experiences quickly. It is evident that her life has found a new direction as she has found faith and belief in God. Furthermore, she attends a church that is close to her home and is occasionally involved in church activities.

Social, community, and recreational activities

Veronica is very hardworking and highly committed to community activities. She started attending church service, enrolled in swimming as well as volleyball teams. Furthermore, she has made a couple of friends who contribute to her stability and make her more open to communal and recreational activities. Although she speaks Spanish, this is a minor challenge in her social life as she is ready to learn the native language.

Client strengths, capacities, and resources

Although Veronica had a rough childhood, it also comes with dozens of lessons that contribute to her strength and resourcefulness. Her resilience to recover and move away from the past is her greatest strength. Besides, her quick connection and adaption to her immediate community, considering her inability to communicate fluently in English, is another strength she possesses. Finally, her strength gives her the capacity to be resourceful to other victims of sexual trafficking.

Part B

Challenges faced

Veronica has faced a great ordeal of challenges. The first challenge is the lack of proper paternal love and care. When her parents separated, she was denied parental care from both her parents, who contributed most to her predicaments. Also, when her mother left for the United States, she did not get proper care, but instead, the person entrusted to her took advantage of her. Finally, Veronica had to travel alone with a stranger with no one caring for her, and again the person who was supposed to take care of her used her for sexual abuse. The second challenge she faced was a denial of her rights. Her maternal aunt, as well as the smuggler, forced her to engage in sexual activities against her will and rights. Furthermore, she was exposed to drugs at a young age, which is against the law. Lastly, her inability to speak English caused her to spend three weeks in detention, and this had a tremendous negative impact on her social life.


How social environment affects the Veronica

It is quite clear that Veronica’s home environment hurt her upbringing. It is an environment that is filled with poverty, drugs, prostitution, and violence. Moreover, it is for this reason that Veronica’s mother decided to move and not allow the environment to consume her the way it had destroyed her sister. However, it caught up with Veronica in her home, where she was forced to do everything her mother was running away from. Therefore, in this kind of environment, it is hard to get away from. It is either one decides to be different or run far away. Unfortunately, in these cases, none of these options applies to a minor under their aunt’s care.

Identify which human behavior or social theories may guide your practice.

Human and sexual trafficking victims are occasionally faced by flashbacks of the ordeal and fear of future occurrences, which often leads to withdrawal. Victims like Veronica often exhibit behaviors such as solitude and lack of trust. Furthermore, they get self-conscious, which affects their self-esteem, which affects their ability to communicate freely. Therefore, such behaviors are essential when handling victims

How would you use this assessment to develop mutually agreed-upon goals with Veronica?

In therapy, it is essential to develop mutually agreed goals with the victims once trust has been established. Her assessment showed that she needed healing, which will include building a healthy support system that would improve her self-esteem and help reduce trauma symptoms. Therefore, the constant affirmation will help create the feeling of worthiness and wholeness at the same time, build her confidence. On the other hand, engaging her through education on the elements of human trafficking will help create a rapport and get more feedback. Furthermore, incorporating assertive behaviors in the curriculum will help model the self-affirmation behaviors and self-consciousness. Overall, these mutually agreed goals are essential as they help victims to get out of their past thoughts and come back to the present.

Explain would use the identified strengths and evidence-based practice in Veronica in a treatment plan and specific intervention strategies

Veronica is quick to learn and understand once a rapport is established. Therefore, engaging her in daily activities like running, walking, and reading will help take her mind away from the terrible experiences. Besides, Veronica is self-conscious of herself; therefore, teaching her to love and how to accept herself will help reduce the trauma and facilitate healing. Also, finding new faith in God will help her find her purpose in life and agape love. Finally, her involvement in social and communal activities like swimming, volleyball.  These activities provide her with new opportunities and stability as she is now in an excellent social environment, not like the one she was brought up.

Ethical issues

Human trafficking is a violation of human rights that has psychological, social, and physical consequences. Therefore, ethical issues play a significant role in the fight against this vice. The ethical issue in Veronica’s case was that her caregivers did not exhibit the highest standard of behaviors at all times. Furthermore, they failed to treat her with dignity as a fellow human being. However, that should not be the case as it is our moral obligation as human beings to do the right thing and seek to empower others regardless of their weakness.

Issues around cultural competence

Human trafficking is a devasting experience for any victim. However, it’s now called modern slavery fueled by many cultural issues. Such matters include mass displacement, conflicts, poverty, violence, lack of education, lack of jobs, and children’s early marriages. All these factors and much more push individuals into a situation of trafficking.

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