Discussion 1: Policy Analysis and Application
Discussion 1: Policy Analysis and Application
According to the NASW Code of Ethics section 6.04 (NASW, 2008), social workers are ethically bound to work for policies that support the healthy development of individuals, guarantee equal access to services, and promote social and economic justice.
For this Discussion, review this week’s resources, including Working with Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma: The Case of Rita. Consider what change you might make to the policies that affect the client in your case. Finally, think about how you might evaluate the success of the policy changes.
· Post an explanation of one change you might make to the policies that affect the client in the case. Be sure to reference the case you selected in your post.
· Finally, explain how you might evaluate the success of the policy changes.
Support your post with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
“Working With Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma: The Case of Rita” (pp. 81–83)
Rome, S., Harris, S., & Hoechstetter, S. (2010). Social work and civic engagement: The political participation of professional social workers. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 37(3), 107–129.
Working With Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma: The Case of Rita
Rita is a 22-year-old, heterosexual, Latina female working in the hospitality industry at a resort. She is the youngest of five children and lives at home with her parents. Rita has dated in the past but never developed a serious relationship. She is close to her immediate and extended family as well as to her female friends in the Latino community. Although her parents and three of her siblings were born in the Dominican Republic, Rita was born in the United States.
A year ago, Rita was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance of a male coworker. Rita and a female coworker met Juan and Bob after work at a local bar for a light meal and a few drinks. Because Rita had to get up early to work her shift the next day, Bob offered to drive her home. Instead of taking Rita directly home, however, he drove to a desolate spot nearby and assaulted her. Afterward, Bob threatened to harm her family if she did not remain silent and proceeded to drive her home. Although Rita did not tell her family what happened, she did call our agency hotline the next day to discuss her options. Because Rita’s assault occurred within the 5-day window for forensic evidence collection of this kind, Rita consented to activation of the county’s sexual assault response team (SART). Although she agreed to have an advocate and the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) meet her at the hospital, Rita tearfully stated that she did not want to file a police report at that time because she did not want to upset her family. The nurse examiner interviewed Rita, collected evidence, recorded any injuries, administered antibiotics for possible sexually transmitted infections, and gave Rita emergency contraception in case of pregnancy. The advocate stayed with Rita during the procedure, supporting her and validating her experience, and gave her a referral for individual crisis counseling at our agency.
My treatment goals for Rita included alleviation of rape trauma syndrome symptoms that included shame and self-blame, validation of self-worth and empowerment, and processing how it would feel to disclose to others when the time felt right. In addition, Rita would receive important information regarding state policy and procedure for victims of sexual assault that would assist her in deciding when and how to report the crime if she chose to do so.
My treatment involved crisis intervention and stabilization along with emotional support and validation surrounding her experience. Managing her trauma and acute stress symptoms were key to her recovery. Those symptoms included guilt, shame, emotional shock, powerlessness, anxiety, fear, anger, and doubting her judgment. We processed Rita’s emotional dysregulation and sense of outrage over what happened. Over the weeks that followed, we also explored Rita’s relationship to her immediate and extended family and how they had high expectations for her and her future. Rita’s shame over the assault prevented her from telling her family for fear they would also be shamed and judge her for accepting a ride from someone she did not know well. We discussed the policy for reporting a sexual assault to the police in our state and how Rita only had a 90-day window to report the crime after her forensic evidence was obtained. After 90 days, the forensic kit would be destroyed. Discussion 1: Policy Analysis and Application