Intended for reading by children ages 7-12 who are witnesses or victims in a criminal case, this illustrated booklet tells the story of Malik and his family as they interact with the criminal justice system after he becomes a witness to and victim of a crime that involved his neighbor.
This story portrays Malik’s talk with a counselor at school, going to court and meeting with his advocate, working with the prosecutor on the case, testifying in court, and building a support network to help him understand and process his experience. The story is presented through colored drawings that depict events and conversations as Malik struggles in his mind and feelings to interpret and act constructively with his experiences of being both a witness and a victim of a crime. The intention of providing this story for children and youth who become victims and/or witnesses to crime is for them to consider the adults to whom they might talk with about what has happened to them and how they feel about it, what could happen in the unfamiliar world of criminal justice, and what might be expected of them as victims/witnesses. One of the concluding comments to child readers is “This is Malik’s story. His experience might be different than what you’re going through, but it might help you understand what’s going on.”