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Dhannu's responses to trauma and care

Dhannu* was rescued when she was 16 yrs old. She had burn marks all over her body. She remembered nothing about her address and portrayed unstable behavior at times. She may have a slight mental disability but it is also possible that her erratic behavior stems from the trauma she has endured. When she cried, she could not stop, and when she laughed she could not stop. At times she said that she wanted to go back home; at other times she said she would rather go anywhere else. When her mother came to see her Dhannu was angry and did not want to speak to her. Dhannu said that she ended up in prostitution because of her mother. Dhannu participated in activities when asked to, but preferred sleeping. She also fought with the other girls. She became angry over silly things, shouted one moment and was calm the next, and laughed and cried without reason.

Proper love and care can yield positive changes, as seen in Dhannu's case. When social workers visited again, Dhannu had been moved to a new shelter home and was healthier and happier. According to the staff there, Dhannu engaged in activities and learned new skills with enthusiasm. She made friends with the other girls and was more emotionally stable than before.

*name changed to protect identity


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