Amita Murray case
Demographics: Amita Murray, Female, age 7, African-American, El Dorado, Kansas
The first presenting problem is the fact that Amita has gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease which means that Amita, a seven year old girl, has been subjected to vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Amita’s mother, Alanna, 29, was also tested by the doctor for gonorrhea in which she tested positive for as well. It could possibly be that both Amita and her mother Alanna contracted the disease through the same person. This leads me to another presenting problem. After interviewing Amita at school, she tells you that her mother’s boyfriend, who is a frequent visitor and sometimes stays overnight, has been playing games with her. She elaborated and said that Dion touches her and she has to touch him. She indicated the vaginal area when asked what part of the body he touches, and she indicated the genital area when asked what part of the body she has to touch on Dion. She also went on to say that she felt very uncomfortable when Dion laid down on top of her and “put his cock in my pee-pee”. Amita said she told her mother what happened and her mother did not believe her. Another presenting problem is Alanna, the mother, is denying the fact that her child was ever molested. Alanna is allowing Dion to come into the house, which puts Amita in a dangerous and harmful situation.
Amita is the second oldest child in the family. Her father, Weldon Wyett, has had no contact or given support to Amita. He was an abusive partner who hit and controlled her mother. Shalanna, 16, is the oldest child in the family. Her father, Curtis Willows, lives in Atlanta, and is not married. He has contact with her and is supportive. TJ and JJ’s, age 4, father is Thomas Breenout. He stays in contact with the boys and is somewhat supportive. Arietta is the youngest at 14 months old and Dion is her father. Alanna, Amita’s mother, is the oldest in her family. Her mother, Violet, is married to her father Edrick. They also have two younger sons. Edrick Jr. is in Pueblo, Colorado. He is married, and has three young children. Victor lives in Washington with his wife and their baby.
Mental Health Status
When I interviewed Amita at her school, she was open and friendly. She had clean clothes, good hygiene and her hair was in braids. She looked properly nourished as well. Although at the beginning she seemed okay, when she was telling me about the sexual abuse her demeanor changed. She says she felt uncomfortable and that it hurt and she cried. Also, she was forced not to tell anyone by Dion or she would get grounded by her mama for telling lies. The mental health of this child is in high risk due to the incidences occurring in the home. Shalanna is described as being bossy, moody, and rebellious. The twins are a handful, with lots of energy they get into everything. When talking to Amita’s mother, Alanna, I noticed she was dressed appropriately. She had good hygiene and is slightly overweight. She was nervous, did not smile, and her hand were trembling. While talking to the mother, she explained that taking care of all these kids drives her crazy. She is stressed because she has to take care of five kids while working full-time. Violet describes her behavior as too tired to cook, yelling at the kids all the time, and sleeping late. Violet gets very nervous after a couple of hours babysitting the children because it is so stressful and she is getting old. She says Alanna has been through some terrible relationships including abusive and controlling ones. Her mother and her do not get along and have their own differences of opinions as well.
Substance Abuse History
Although no substance abuse history came up during my interviews, it may be possible that some substance abuse did happen. Alanna claims that she never really got along with her mother, and that her father was too strict on her. This caused her to become a little “wild” and “rebellious”. Substance abuse could have possibly played a part in this. Also, a month before Amita was born; Alanna’s father died suddenly a while after she had moved back in with her parents. This could have played a major role in her depression since then and could have caused substance abuse. After her father died, Alanna and Violet started fighting and could not get along which forced Alanna to move out. She then met the twin’s father at a club which could stem from substance abuse.
Amita and her mother, Alanna have recently been diagnosed with gonorrhea. Alanna refused to get information about sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). She did, however, get the antibiotics needed to clear up the disease for both her and Amita. The grandmother, Violet has diabetes and hypertension. The diabetes is under control at the present time. Both diseases are provoked by stress. There is an increased risk of medical conditions related to stress.
Amita, her mom, and siblings were born in the Unites States and are legal citizens. All are of African-American descent. Amita is only seven years old and cannot consent to any sexual behavior. This goes for all her younger siblings as well. Alanna, the mother, is not married and never has been. She is currently with Dion, the alleged perpetrator, but does not live with him. However, he visits frequently and sometimes stays overnight. She has no plans of breaking up with him. Violet, the grandmother, is married to her husband, Edrick. They have been married for 35 years. Both are legal citizens of the United States. Also, both are African American.
Amita is in the second grade at Big Bend Elementary school. She has no history of problems at the school. She attends regularly and has good grades. Shalanna attends high school and is a sophomore. Alanna has a high school diploma and a cosmetology decree as well. She has some college education but does not have a degree. Dion has some college education also.
Alanna currently works as an entry-level administrative assistant at an accounting firm. Due to her lack of income she has to rely on Shalanna to watch the other kids a lot. She was formerly a beautician but felt she did not make a consistent salary and had no benefits. The mother’s boyfriend, Dion, works as a junior accountant at Pizza Hut. He sometimes helps Alanna out with household expenses such as diapers and occasionally food. Violet, Alanna’s mother is a certified nurse aide at the V.A. hospital. She is four years aways from taking an early retirement at 55. Sometimes Violet is able to babysit the kids when she is not working. She does not have a lot of money but usually will help Alanna if she can. Shalanna’s father, Curtis Willows, works with computers in Atlanta. The kids uncle Edrick Jr. is an electrician and Victor is in computer tech.
Needs and Resources
Amita and her family are in need of therapy. Amita needs therapy to deal with what has happened to her. We may not be seeing the effects of the sexual abuse at her age just yet, but I believe that the abuse will affect her more in the future. It is to my understanding that the mother would most likely not be able to afford any kind of therapy therefore we should find some resources that would help her deal with the effects of sexual abuse. I would recommend sending her to St. Francis for therapy. The mother, Alanna, also needs to be in therapy. She has been a victim of domestic violence, has had many unstable and non lasting relationships with men, and also she does not believe that her daughter is telling the truth. Therapy could make her realize that her children should come first instead of trying to keep Dion around. She is afraid of being alone and needs to work on her dependency issues. She also needs to learn some parenting skills. Also, it seems like grandma needs some help as well. Both she and Alanna need to work on their relationship and work on coping with stress better.
This family does not have a lot of resources. Alanna is a single mother with five children. All of the children’s fathers, except Amita’s, do help out a little with clothes and toys. However, this is not enough. Amita and her mother looked as though they atleast had clean clothes, clean hair and clean bodies, but they could use some help with groceries and even babysitting. Grandma can only babysit when she is not working and when she does; it still puts a strain on her.