Department of Psychology
Prosecuting child abusers is often difficult due to lack of particularising details. Two possible ways of addressing this difficulty are: (a) to change the justice system to better serve prosecution for repeated offences (i.e., allow generic testimony), and (b) to bolster children's testimony. As this article has illustrated, there is still considerable potential for increasing (b). Given the low prosecution rates of child abuse offences, the need for exceptional interviewer training programs coupled with resources for ongoing supervision is now critical. While there have been some major improvements in child witness investigative interviews over the past two decades, there are still numerous common deficiencies. These difficulties are particularly evident in interviews about repeated abuse.
Powell, M.B., Roberts, K.P., & Guadagno, B. (2007). Particularisation of child abuse offences: Common problems when interviewing child witnesses. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 19(1), 64-74.