Children's Testimony

Children may experience or witness crime and may need to provide reports to authorities. Children's eye-witness accounts can contain critical information about serious acts such as murder, domestic violence, kidnapping, and assault. Child sexual abuse is particularly likely to bring children into contact with the criminal justice system because the case may boil down to the child's word against that of the accused. Although even young children can provide accurate accounts of their experiences, including highly traumatic incidents, such children on average are both less complete in their memory reports and more suggestible than older children and adults.

Like adults' accounts, children's accounts are influenced by numerous factors, including cognitive, social, and individual ones. Developmentally appropriate interview protocols may contribute to obtaining complete and accurate accounts ...

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