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NCJ Number: 98636 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Protection of Children in Sexual Assault Cases (From Child Abuse, 1984, A Carmi and H Zimrin, ed.)
Author(s): D Reifen
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Springer-Verlag
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Sale Source: Springer-Verlag
44 Hartz Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After outlining the features of a 1955 Israeli law that specifies procedures for the interrogation and testifying of sexual assault victims under 14 years old, this chapter describes the interrogator's qualifications and functions, child victim reaction patterns, parent attitudes, and findings of a victim survey.
Abstract: The law provides for youth interrogators appointed by the Minister of Justice to question child victims of sexual assault. Also, child victims cannot testify in court without the permission of a youth interrogator. In all other instances, the youth interrogator in the cases testifies for the child victim. When the police receive a report of the sexual assault of a child, they inform the parents that a youth interrogator will call on them to investigate the complaint. The youth interrogator interviews the child victim as soon as possible after the report is received. Experience with youth interrogators has been that they obtain much more information from the child than did experienced police investigators before the law. Youth interrogators have found child victim reactions to sexual abuse to range from shame, pride, and seduction of the offender to passive acceptance. Youth interrogators report that parents of the victims initially reject their children but generally become more caring and accepting under the interrogator's guidance. A survey of 1,097 child victims found that 72 percent were girls and 28 percent boys. Out of these cases, the youth interrogators permitted 14 percent of the children over 10 years old and 8 percent under this age to testify in court. Eighteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Competency to testify; Israel; Juvenile victims; Juvenile witnesses; Police interview/interrogation of juvenile; Victim services; Victim-witness legislation; Witness assistance
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