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Flashcards in 9 Children & The Law Deck (38):

Why can it be hard to get children to talk about abuse that has happened?

- Sometimes there is no physical evidence
- Sometimes the only evidence is testimony of the child


Young children are more susceptible to procedures that induce _____ ________?

False memories


Investigators and counsellors must use what types of interview techniques when working with children?

Nonleading interview.


What is an example of an open-ended question?

"Tell me what happened."
"What happened next?"


What is an example of a yes/no question?

"Did zach hit you?"
* Issue with this is you may possibly give them false
memories. Maybe they don't even know a zach.


What is guided imagery?

Ask the child to go back and put yourself back in that situation. NOT hypnosis, but similar.


What are the three methods used to ask a child about their allegation?

- Open ended questions
- Yes/ no questions
- Guided imagery


What is the problem with guided imagery?

Children may imagine events. They are creative.


What are anatomical dolls?

A doll introduced in the 1970's with is used as an assessment tool. The dolls permit children to reveal aspects of abuse that they wouldn't reveal verbally. Abused children will manifest "inappropriate" sexual behaviour.


What are the doll guidelines?

1. Dolls should not be used to make the initial diagnosis of
2. Professionals who use the dolls should be properly
3. Investigators should be aware of interpersonal factors.
4. Interview should be videotaped.


Do they still use anatomical dolls?

Not really. It's seemed to be too suggestible and attracts too much false information.


Ideally, what should the interviewer do?

- Use opened ended questions.
- yes/no questions lead to suggestion.
- Interviewers should talk to children in a language that
they understand.
- Interviews should be documented.


Why can guided imagery be a bad idea?

If the allegation is true, you can re-traumatize the child.


What are stressors for children?

- Lack of information or understanding
- Adjournments, changes and delay
- Public exposure
- Facing the accused
- Cross-examination


What is meant by 'lack of information and understanding?'

- Being "in the dark" on case development is uncomfortable and confusing.
- First meeting with prosecutor on the day of court is too late for a child.


What are adjournments / changes and delay?

- Some cases take a long time
- It's frustrating to wait in court for hours for it to be cancelled
- Changes in assigned prosecutor can be unsettling


What does 'public exposure' mean?

- Content of testimony can be embarrassing to a child
- May be nervous for strangers watching
- Speaking in public can be hard for children


Why can 'facing the accused' be hard for children?

- Obviously scared and intimidated
- Accused may have threatened the child not to tell


Why is cross-examination tough in child cases?

Some lawyers will try on purpose to confuse the child. Double questions, meandering sentences, confusing vocabulary. The tone of the questioning can imply the child is lying.


How many females claim to have been sexually assaulted as a child?



How many males claim to have been sexually assaulted as a child?



What is the most common form of child sexual abuse?

Touching / fondling of genitals


What is the percentage of perpetrators that sexually abused the child, are related to that child?



What are the areas affected by child sexual abuse?

- Brain (physically / cognitively)
- Academic / social difficulties
- Affective and somatic disturbances
- Difficulty controlling anger
- Antisocial behaviour and delinquency
- Mental health issues, substance abuse, suicide


Evaluations require an investigator to? (4)

1. Interview people (family members, babysitters, etc)
2. Gather collateral information
3. Analyze information
4. Present the information in the form of a report to a
judge so the court can make informed decisions.


Child custody evaluation assists them in determining the health, safety, welfare and the ____ ________ __ ___ _____?

Best interest of the child.


What is the role as a professional expert?

Have a specialized competence that includes knowledge of assessment procedures, child / family development, psychopathology, applicable legal standards and laws relevant to divorce and custody decisions. Cannot have relationships with family members. (Ex: Can't be their therapist. Or be a family friend.)


Write notes on slide 32. Don't really know what to say.

Slide 32.


What is collateral information of high priority?

Criminal history, police reports, CPS reports, teacher reports, medical records, drug tests (for parents), school records, etc.


What is some information to consider for evaluations?

- Age and developmental stage of children
- Interests and activities of the child & role of parent in
those interests.
- Demonstrated capacity of parents to foster growth and
take of children.
- Relationship and attachment between child and parent.


Why is the social history of the parent important?

Provides insight into how each parent is likely to perceive the reality of their current circumstances.


What should forensic interviewers do?

- Listen, let them talk.
- Poker face.
- Let them feel like they are in control.
- They don't know what you know (like criminal hx)
- Always attend to body behaviour
- Use confusion, sparingly, but intelligently.


In the analysis of evaluations, what is important to remember?

- If you can't prove it, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
- How do you support information you can't prove?
- This is your expert opinion, provide the shades of grey


In writing an evaluation conclusion, remember...?

- Answer the referral question
- Provide information to the court to assist in determining
the best interests of the child.


What are the several types of testimony by psychologists in sexual abuse cases?

- Social framework testimony
- Ultimate opinion testimony


What is social framework testimony?

Provides a context for evaluating the evidence in the case. It's the testimony about similarities between the child witness and the perpetrator.


What is projective testing?

Like ink blot tests. Theres no right/wrong answer. Or asking them to draw a picture.


What is objective testing?

When you have a test that has hand-written questions.
It's a structured interview.
Ex: IQ test.