“It is refreshing to see a book such as this which is both broad in its conceptualization of the field of child research and deep in its focus. The volume's editors are paragons of awareness when it comes to the need for interdisciplinary research and theory to illuminate the lives and experience of children.”
– James Garbarino, Loyola University Chicago
“Covers a satisfying and unprecedentedly wide range of research relating to childhood. The contributors include many eminent international scholars of childhood, making the book a valuable resource for child researchers. Child advocates will also find the book to be invaluable in their efforts to improve children's well-being, and to change policies and practices for the better.”
– Anne Smith, University of Otago
“A really scintillating collection that will provide a lasting perspective on child studies - stimulating and comprehensive!”
– Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York
In keeping with global changes in children's social and legal status, this Handbook includes examination of children as family members, friends, learners, consumers, people of faith, and participants in law and politics. The contributors also discuss the methodological and ethical requirements for research that occurs in natural settings and that enables children themselves to describe their perspective.
The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Setting-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part II: Population-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part III: Methods in Research on Children and Childhood
Chapter 16: Children as Witnesses
Children as Witnesses
Worldwide, many thousands – if not millions – of children serve as witnesses in legal actions every year. Victims of child maltreatment as well as children who witness or experience other types of illegal activity (for example, domestic violence, murder, kidnapping, robbery, gang violence, war crimes) may be interviewed by authorities and in some countries, they may eventually testify in depositions, in hearings, or at trial. The crimes that lead to legal involvement typically come with their own share of adverse emotional consequences. Then, once a legal case ensues, children may be required to recount these experiences, possibly repeatedly, in formal, complex, and often confusing legal contexts in which the children often fear retribution or feel divided loyalties, ...