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Domestic Violence Victims

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Testimony By Children Who Are The Victims Or Witnesses Of Violence Zach Keel Terra Community College Today, children carry a lot of key evidence in domestic violence cases. Their names often appear in the witness list because thy recorded statements with the police over the incident. Today, there is a special unit in the police force that is trained in domestic violence cases. These officers are encouraged to look for children in case of domestic violence cases and take their statements if necessary. This has made children not only to be present among prosecution witnesses but also among the defense witnesses. Children are called to the witness stand for various reasons. First, they are called if they witnessed a crime committed…show more content…
Over the past two decades, increased cases of domestic violence and children as witnesses have led to agencies developing practices and programs to reduce cases of system-related trauma among children (National Institute of Justice (U.S.), American Bar Association & American Bar Association, 1999). These programs have proven to be multidisciplinary and aimed at reducing anxiety and depression among kids. The programs also touch on various areas that include preventing future cases of victimization, coordination of the responses of agencies dealing with child victims, access of treatment to children who have been victims of domestic violence and facilitate representation and support for child victims in both juvenile courts and the criminal justice system (Law.lclark.edu, 2015). The other innovative strategies that can reduce trauma among children include the preparation of children for the witness stand in a manner that considers the child’s mental health and is developmentally appropriate. It is at this point where a clinician is required to assess the psychological condition of a child and determine whether it would be appropriate for them to testify or not. A child friendly approach should also be used when obtaining statements and when testifying. A good relationship with other agencies that are involved with the child is also important to allow for…show more content…
In such cases, there is usually a range of emotions. When the defendant is known to the child, feelings such as worry, guilt and sadness may engulf the child. This especially occurs when the child is split between telling a lie to save the person and telling the truth to condemn the person to prison sentence (National Institute of Justice (U.S.), American Bar Association & American Bar Association, 1999). In such instances, a child might tell a lie to protect that person especially if it is their mother, father or someone they love. On the other hand, most children do not hesitate to tell the truth if they understand the consequences. Children often want that person to go to prison for harming them or their loved ones. However, it a child has had a serious confrontation with an unknown defendant; they could fear telling the truth because they are intimidated by the
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