Why Do Children Have To Testify In Court

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The effects of sexual or physical abuse can also last for a long time, especially as mentally, physically and emotionally underdeveloped as a child is. Some children can cope very well with very horrible situations while others can be very distressed by a minor incident. However, having to go through the court system shortly after the abuse occurred will surely take a toll on the child. Having the child relive the trauma multiple times by having them testify in court in front of their abuse, which is especially traumatic as in some countries such as the United States have a right to confront their accuser; and having them go through sometimes multiple interviews would create harmful short-term as well as long-term effects on the child.
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As the circumstances of child abuse testimonies have only started being taken seriously in the past thirty or so years, there has not been much research on the short term and long term effects of children testifying in criminal court. All child abuse cases are individually significant to their circumstances and they are almost always complicated when it comes to children having to testify in court. The effect of abuse on the child, be it short term or long term appear to be worse if the abuse came from a family member, especially a parental figure and if the child had to testify multiple times. It is also very difficult to discern whether if the child displays signs of trauma if it was a result of the abuse, the harshness of testifying in court; in many cases in front of the abuser, or if it was a combination of the whole ordeal. There are also certain conditions, a child has that can make them more predisposed to experiencing the ordeal as extremely

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