Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

3 Bumps

Should child rape victims be called to testify against their *alleged* rapist?

I found out a few weeks ago that a teacher at a local high school ( where my children attend) had been charged with 4 counts of sodomy and 2 counts of sexual abuse of a 9 year old. The child maybe brought in to testify on what happened to him.. but should their be an age limit on children testifying in open court or on closed circuit tv? I understand that ever one is innocent until proven guilty.. and you have the right to face you accuser... HOWEVER.. at 9 years old, will they be able to really handle cross examination?

Answer Question

Asked by MrsGrubbs at 5:18 PM on Sep. 8, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 12 (676 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • It's a sad, unfortunate situation that a child even gets put in that place. However, I think it's a necessary evil to ensure that their rapist gets the punishment he deserves.

    Answer by EgoTryptophan at 5:19 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • When I was 12 they recorded my statement and played it in court. I was so glad I never saw him again, I dont think I could have handled it. I could now but not back then. Being in court is one thing, having to see the person that violated you is too much for most adults.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 5:24 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • I do think it should be closed when a child is brought in. It is hard enough to stand in fornt of authority of any kind without the added stress of having an audience. I think the child's privacy should also be guarded.

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:26 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • Usually child victims of sexual assault are put through a lot of counseling before they are ever brought on the stand. One case I recall is Shasta Groene who was raped and watched her brother also be sexually assaulted and murdered by a sick sick man, who also killed her entire family before kidnapping the two kids. She was able to testify and the judge, DA and offenders lawyer were very careful with her. They dont just put them up there without much consideration. In ideal cases they have dna evidence and rape kits so the victim does not have to testify.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:29 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • A lot of child predators get away with it because of this very problem - the child doesn't want to have to testify, or the child's parents make that decision. There should be a better way - like tape it with only the attorney's, the judge, and the child's parents in the room, then play it in closed court for the jury and defendent.

    Answer by Mom2Just1Kiddo at 5:49 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • As a Criminal Justice major, one of the good and bad things about the justice system is they are always thinking about the rights of the accused. In the process the rights of the"vitcim" are often overlooked or outright ignored!

    Answer by MsRickie at 5:51 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • i think that if the child and the parent together think that it is necessary then i think ok, but if the child is not able to handle testifying in front of everyone i dont think that it is a good idea..but i dont think that anyone should be foreced to testify on the matter if they dont feel comfortable.

    Answer by ldc90 at 6:35 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • there are other actions that should be taken like a recorded testimony.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 7:52 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • Unfortunately my family is involved in a case where the 8 year old had to appear in open court. The trial was adjourned so there will be a second trial. If that were my child, there is NO way she'd be in open court!

    Answer by Verrine at 10:02 PM on Sep. 8, 2011

  • I've never had this situation but I can imagine how tough it would be. You want to protect your kids from having to go through this and on the other hand you need to do everything possible so the person can't do it again to another child.

    Answer by SherrieMomof2 at 3:16 PM on Sep. 9, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.