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Minerva Medicolegale 2006 June;126(2):155-68

language: English

Helping abused children talk about their experiences in forensic interviews

Brown D.A. 1, Lamb M.E. 2

1 Psychology Department Lancaster University Lancaster, UK
2 Faculty of Social and Political Sciences University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK


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Young children are increasingly required to give testimony about events they have witnessed or experienced. We review factors which may influence the amount and quality (accuracy) of the information they are able to recall and report. The factors include the nature of the event to be recalled, characteristics of the child, and factors related to the interview process. We also review techniques which have been developed to support children in providing reliable and meaningful eyewitness testimony. Although children may require support from interviewers when retrieving and structuring reports of their experiences and there are valid reasons to be wary of children’s responses to suggestive questioning techniques, a clear consensus has emerged that children are able to provide reliable testimony when questioned appropriately.

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