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NCJ Number: 162240 Find in a Library
Title: Adjudication of Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Journal: Future of Children  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer-Fall 1994)  Pages:84- 101
Author(s): J E B Myers
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The adjudication of child sexual abuse cases is examined, with emphasis on the importance of coordination among the criminal, juvenile, and divorce courts in which child sexual abuse litigation occurs and of appropriate procedures for children who must testify.
Abstract: Although most children have the cognitive and moral capacity to be competent witnesses, competence is not the same as believability. The developmental constraints of young children often requires suggestive questions; the need for suggestive questions is the central dilemma experienced by interviewers. Interviews that are done poorly undermine the ability to protect children and suggest false allegations, whereas interviews that are done well help children reveal their memories. Facing the defendant is the most difficult aspect of testifying for most children. Judges in both criminal and civil litigation have the authority to protect children from harassment and intimidation. Most children cope with testifying; with proper preparation and support, some children are empowered by testifying. However, few cases end in trials. Cases are sometimes under way in two or more courts simultaneously, so coordination among courts is essential. 107 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse situation remedies; Child Sexual Abuse; Court procedures; Interagency cooperation
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