Prosecutors' recommendations for improving child witness statements about sexual abuse

Burrows, Kimberlee Shannon and Powell, Martine 2014, Prosecutors' recommendations for improving child witness statements about sexual abuse, Policing and society, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 189-207, doi: 10.1080/10439463.2013.784305.

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Title Prosecutors' recommendations for improving child witness statements about sexual abuse
Author(s) Burrows, Kimberlee Shannon
Powell, MartineORCID iD for Powell, Martine orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Journal name Policing and society
Volume number 24
Issue number 2
Start page 189
End page 207
Total pages 19
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1043-9463
1477-2728
Keyword(s) investigative interviewing
child witness
child sexual assault
Summary Child sexual abuse cases are often not prosecuted because of poor evidential quality. The aim of this study was to elicit suggestions from prosecutors as to how investigative interviews with child witnesses (the main form of evidence in child abuse cases) could be improved. Thirty-six in-depth phone interviews were held with 19 trial prosecutors shortly before and after trials. For each case, prosecutors were asked to provide feedback about the strengths and limitations of the child witness interviews, along with suggestions for how the interviews could have been improved. Thematic analysis revealed three broad areas for improvement: the need for tighter focus on the elements of the offence, better clarification of inconsistencies and ambiguities in the account, and greater consideration of how the child presents in the eyes of the jury. These areas, along with the prosecutors' practical suggestions, are outlined. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for trainers in child witness interviewing.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10439463.2013.784305
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30052804

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
2018 ERA Submission
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Created: Tue, 04 Jun 2013, 11:06:45 EST by Jane Moschetti

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