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Title: Child victims and child witnesses of sexual abuse : is the criminal justice system addressing the child’s vulnerability with adequate techniques?
Authors: Hili, Mariella
Keywords: Criminal justice, Administration of -- Malta
Child witnesses -- Malta
Sexually abused children -- Malta
Child sexual abuse -- Investigation -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Sexual abuse has a major negative impact on children, short term and long term. Moreover, these children may face further trauma while going through the criminal justice process. These procedures are taxing even for an adult witness, let alone for a child victim as a child witness, who has to recount and hence relive the sexual abuse in intimate detail, in unfamiliar surroundings to a number of unknown persons. It is therefore also challenging for the professionals involved who have the task to elicit enough information from the child victim so as to prosecute the perpetrator, while imposing the least amount of psychological harm on the child. The objective of this research was to analyse the challenges these stakeholders come across during child sexual abuse investigations and how these hurdles can be turned into opportunities to improve the system and consequently, reduce the ordeal on the child. Studies about the trauma of child witnessing in court are numerous, however there does not seem to be a study on this topic from the perspective of the Maltese CJS. Based on a triangulation of qualitative methods, this dissertation brings to light the techniques that are used by stakeholders on the Maltese Islands while dealing with cases concerning child victims of sexual abuse. Five interviews were conducted with professionals who have hands-on experience in this field. These interviews together with other research, yielded valuable data which could support fresh measures to reduce any secondary victimisation imposed on the child witness during the criminal justice process.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2014
Dissertations - FacSoWCri - 2014

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