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NCJ Number: 182931 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Listening to Children: A Child Witness Is Often an Overlooked Resource
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:April 2000  Pages:131-134
Author(s): Charles Ennis
Date Published: April 2000
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the importance of and techniques for interviewing child witnesses at scenes of domestic violence.
Abstract: Speaking with a child might quickly uncover information that will provide direction to an investigation and save a lot of time. Victims of wife battering seldom cooperate with investigators, making it difficult or impossible to prosecute violent offenders. If children have also been abused, however, there are other options for obtaining evidence. Many assault cases in which the victim is a child originate from reports of injuries noted by people familiar with the child, such as teachers, day care workers, or neighbors. Even a physically abused spouse often does not disclose similar abuse to his/her children. Children who may not themselves be abused may witness violence in their homes. By paying attention to what the children have to say, investigators are taking the first step in breaking the cycle of family violence. Interviewing children is a special skill that requires training. Special care must be taken not to do anything that might later be construed as swaying the child's account of events. Interviewers must avoid suggesting information and not ask leading questions, but rather use simple questions that give children the opportunity to describe in their own words what has happened.
Main Term(s): Police interview/interrogation of juvenile
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse investigations; Domestic assault; Investigative techniques; Juvenile witnesses
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