Children as Witnesses
Involvement of Children in the Justice System
This question becomes more imperative when considering the increase in frequency of children involved with the legal system. According to Statistics Canada, from 2004-2009, family violence allegedly victimized 18, 710 children under the age of 17 (Sinha, 2012). In the same article, children were also reported to have witnessed an increased amount of spousal violence in their homes, such that the proportion of spousal victims with children increased from 43 percent to 52 percent. Sinha (2012) also stated that out of the reported victims of spousal violence in 2009, 39 percent would involve officials in the matter due to the presence of a child witness versus 10 percent of victims with no child witness. These statistics alone account...
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...& J.A. Quas (Eds.) Memory and suggestibility in the forensic interview. Mahwah, MJ:Lawrence Erlbaum.
Regan, P.C. & Baker, S.J. (1998). The impact of child witness demeanor on perceived credibility and trial outcome in sexual abuse cases. Journal of Family Violence, 13(2), 187-195.
Roebers, C.M., Moga, N., & Schneider, W. (2001). The role of accuracy motivation on children’s and adults’ event recall. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 78, 313-329.
Sinha, M. (2012). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2010. Juristat. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11643-eng.pdf
Zajac, R. & Hayne H. (2003). I don’t think that’s what really happened: The effect of cross-examination on the accuracy of children’s repots. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 187-195.
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