The Testimony Of Child Witnesses Essay

1865 Words Dec 5th, 2016 8 Pages
Every year there are hundreds of thousands of children who are suffering from, or witnessing crime (Hobbs, Johnson, Goodman, Bederian-Gardner, Lawler, Vargas, & Mendoza, 2014). Sometimes, these children also serve as witnesses in forensic investigations and proceedings, especially in cases involving sexual abuse, or in cases where there may be no visible evidence or physical indications of a crime, therefore relying on the child’s eyewitness memory (Hobbs et al., 2014). Ever since colonial times in the United States, there has been a great deal of skepticism about the testimony of child witnesses, until the 1970s and 1980s when there was an increase in empirical research on the credibility of child witnesses (Ruby, 1997). It was also during this time that most professionals seemed to accept the view that the majority of children did not lie about being sexually abused (Coolbear, 1991). For instance, in the past various professionals have claimed that “children do not make up stories asserting they have been sexually molested”, or that “very young children do not make up complex lies” (Niveau et al., 2015).
To this day, testimony from children can still be an area with a lot of controversy, primarily because of the consequences that could potentially occur. If a child’s testimony is accurate, there can be detrimental consequences, for instance the perpetrator might go free with the opportunity to commit another crime, or putting the victim in danger if the perpetrator plans…

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