Consequences of criminal court involvement for child victims 

Author(s)Quas, Jodi A., and Gail S. Goodman
Title Consequences of criminal court involvement for child victims
Source Psychology, Public Policy and Law,2012, Volume 18, No. 3, pp392-414
Date 2012
Document type Journal Article

In this article the authors review research concerned with links between child victims' involvement in criminal prosecutions and subsequent outcomes. Children can be involved in legal action in a number of ways, including victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and children who have experienced or witnessed other types of crime such as robbery or assault. The complex ways in which children can participate in the criminal justice system are discussed, from being exposed to one or two interviews, through to multiple evaluations and court appearances. The authors divide their review into two sections. The first section examines emotional and mental health consequences for the children following legal involvement and the second section considers legal involvement by children and justice attitudes. The authors conclude that the evidence supports children being directly involved in criminal proceedings and suggest that children in many circumstances will not suffer any significant long-term emotional harm but they do need to be appropriately supported before, during and after their testimony.

Keywords Child victims; criminal court; testimony; mental health; legal attitudes