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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134822 Find in a Library
Title: Reducing the System-Induced Trauma for Child Sexual Abuse Victims Through Court Preparation, Assessment, and Follow-Up: Executive Summary
Corporate Author: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
London, Ontario N6A 5P6, Canada
Health and Welfare Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Grant Number: 4555-1-125
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: The impact of the Child Witness Project, established by the London (Ontario) Family Court Clinic, is designed to evaluate different methods of preparing child victims of witnesses of sexual abuse to testify in court. Between 1987 and 1990, the Project received over 200 referrals of children who were expected to testify: 144 children were part of the evaluation, and of those, 71 testified at trials and 63 testified at preliminary hearings. The impact of the court preparation service was evaluated by documenting the historical practice of how sexual abuse cases were handled in London and comparing those results to the current practice.
Abstract: The Project's court preparation protocol was developed to demystify the courtroom through education and to reduce the fear and anxiety experienced by children through stress reduction. The evaluation consisted of three phases: the process evaluation to determine whether the process described in the Project's proposal was actually carried out, the outcome evaluation to evaluate the impact of the court preparation service on the child witnesses, and the impact evaluation to assess the response of the criminal justice system and the community to the Project. The evaluation showed that the Project's court preparation benefited children by educating them about court procedures, helping them deal with their stress and anxieties related to the abuse and to testifying, helping them tell their story in court, and providing an advocacy role on their behalf with other criminal justice agencies. The evaluation also indicated that the Project has had a positive effect on the attitudes of mandated professionals in the London criminal justice system toward child sexual abuse victims. 9 figures and 10 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Child victims; Ontario
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