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Module 2-Unit 3-CaseStudy 2

Asha was a 39-year-old woman from East Africa. She arrived as a refugee and lives with her three children. Her husband was killed during the war in Somalia. Asha’s teenage daughter, Sahra, was having trouble in school. She had many unexplained absences and seemed to be depressed when in school, often crying and refusing to participate in learning. Asha had gone through horrific experiences in Africa. Her village was attacked by militia. Her husband was killed, and the women, including Asha, were raped. Sahra was about four years old when these events took place. She spent most of her early childhood in refugee camps, and the family migrated when she was about 12 years old. Asha never sought help for her trauma even though she was having nightmares and constantly feared that she would be attacked again. She never considered that her children were affected by these horrific events as she believed they were too young to understand what had happened.

Asha herself was having problems with Sahra at home. Sahra often refused to help with chores, and she was violent toward her other siblings and even to her mother. Sahra also refused to speak the family’s native language and only spoke English. Since Asha did not speak much English, she and Sahra did not communicate much.

The school called Asha multiple times requesting that she come for a meeting to discuss her daughter’s school issues. The school counselor explained to Asha that they felt that her daughter needed to see a therapist, and they asked her to sign consent for a referral. Asha refused to sign the papers. She told the counselor that her daughter was not “crazy” so she did not want her to go to a therapist.