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Testifying About Child Sexual Abuse: A Courtroom Guide

NCJ Number
K C Faller; S Scarnecchia
Date Published
35 pages
This video describes the court systems potentially involved in testimony pertinent to a child sexual abuse case, the stages in the court process, and the roles of professional and child witnesses in such cases.
Combining didactic material with demonstrations from actual child interviews and from simulations, the video provides an overview of key issues and controversies related to court testimony in cases of sexual abuse. The video is intended as a starting point for professionals who testify in court. It draws on statutes and practice experience in offering guidance to professionals; however, as the tape emphasizes, there is variability in accepted practice in accordance with the witness' profession, the particular State, and the specific community. The video is best used in conjunction with the accompanying manual. The manual provides supplemental information, including a role play and exercises. it also contains an appendix on children's memory and suggestibility and references for professionals whose work requires them to be familiar not only with general practice guidelines, but also with specific research and other writings. The manual also includes a list of resources.