Precious: A Case Study

Topics: Child abuse, Domestic violence, Physical abuse Pages: 5 (1644 words) Published: February 23, 2014


Precious: A Case Study
Kristan Hughart
Wilmington University

Precious: A Case Study
The move Precious (based on the novel “Push” written by Sapphire), depicts the life of a 16 year old girl named Claireece “Precious” Jones. The story is set in Harlem, NY in 1987. Precious has suffered severe abuse throughout her life by both of her parents. She has seemed to have slipped through the cracks of the system from family, the school system, child services, as well as the community as a whole. Her only saving grace is her strong will and her ability to disassociate herself and seek comfort in her own imaginary world.

Precious’ abuse started as an infant when she was molested and raped by her father as her mother knowingly allowed this abuse to occur. These rapes continued until Precious was 16 years old. Precious’ home was full of domestic violence and she was verbally, physically, and emotionally abused. Not only is Precious abused by her mother but she is virtually treated as a slave as her mother is totally dependent on precious. Precious was the victim of incest, and impregnated twice by her father. Even in her community she is physically assaulted and made fun of, causing her to have low self-esteem. As if this abuse wasn’t enough, Precious ultimately contracts HIV from her infected father. Formal and Informal Supports

Formal supports usually consist of government and private agencies and organizations set up to assist people in the community with their needs. Some of the formal supports in Precious’ life include: Teachers

Welfare worker
Nurse John
Informal supports generally consist of family, friends and associates. Precious doesn’t have many informal supports in her life. The students at her alternative school who become her friends represent the informal support in her life. Red Flags

There were many “red flags”, or warning signs that there were problems in Precious’ life that needed to be addressed or at the very least noticed. Some of the red flags for Precious Jones included: Poverty

Illiteracy
Morbid obesity
Demeanor (lashing out, being withdrawn)
Lack of parental involvement in school
Fear of school staff coming to her home
The fact that Precious was pregnant twice by the age of 16
Any one of these red flags could have led to the discovery of the abuse being inflicted on precious. The fact that so many red flags went unnoticed for so long is devastating as it could have literally saved this young girls life. Strengths and Interests

Precious is a survivor and the strength she demonstrated both physically and mentally is amazing. She has learned to disassociate herself when her father is raping her. No matter how much she gets beat down by the people in her life, her strong will and determination rise above and keep her going. She has the ability to see past her present situation and focus on the future and the way she wants her life to be. She wants to graduate, go to college and be a good mother to her children. Five strengths I see in precious and her family are the following: 1. Precious has street smarts

2. Precious has the internal desire to create a better life
3. Precious has the ability to create a safe place in her own mind 4. Precious’ grandmother stepped in and is raising Precious’ special needs child 5. Precious never gives up
Abuse or Trauma Experienced
Throughout her life Precious is subject to copious amounts of abuse and trauma. This has caused Precious herself to exhibit aggressive and violent behavior. For example there are times in the movie where she is aggressive towards a student for being disrespectful to her favorite teacher. She also slaps another student for embarrassing her and also hits the young girl in her apartment building when she is feeling annoyed by the girl. Although Precious doesn’t partake in drugs or alcohol she is subjected to its effects as her mother is a smoker and a drinker. Precious is physically abused by...
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