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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 162222 Find in a Library
Title: Child Sexual Abuse Investigations in Israel
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:23  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1996)  Pages:322-337
Author(s): K J Sternberg; M E Lamb; I Hershkowitz
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 16
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how allegations of child sexual abuse are investigated and adjudicated in Israel, particularly in response to concern about the potentially damaging effects of testifying on young children.
Abstract: Special procedures for obtaining and evaluating the testimony of young witnesses are spelled out in the Law of Evidence Revision Protection of Children (LER-PC). This law contains uniform procedures for regulating the way in which information is obtained from children under the age of 15 years who are alleged victims, witnesses, or perpetrators of sex crimes. The LER-PC transfers responsibility for investigating juvenile sex crimes from the police to a new class of professionals referred to as youth investigators who have extensive power to investigate child sex crimes and a major role in trial proceedings. Social workers, police officers, health care providers, and other professionals are required to refer all child abuse allegations to youth investigators and are not permitted to conduct any interviews themselves. Although the LER- PC has been successful in protecting children from repeated investigative interviews and has shielded children from the potential trauma of testifying in court, it has hindered the prosecution of alleged perpetrators. Because fewer than 10 percent of alleged victims are permitted to testify in court, the demand for corroboration has had a substantial effect on prosecution and conviction rates. Other criticisms of the LER-PC are noted, qualifications and responsibilities of youth investigators are discussed, and research on young witnesses in Israel is reported. 39 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse investigations; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victim interviews; Children in the courtroom; Crime in foreign countries; Criminal justice research; Foreign laws; Foreign offenders; Israel; Juvenile Sex Offenders; Juvenile witnesses; Sexual assault victims; Victims in foreign countries
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