Child Abuse and Sexual Assault
Child abuse is any commission act that may make the child’s emotional or physical health be endangered. It may involve damages that the child may face that can not be sensibly be explained and always shown by the injuries or sometimes a series of injuries that appears not to be accidental in their nature. Sexual assault is unwelcomed sexual contacts that are experienced by many people (Muram, 1995). This paper deals with the basic does and don’ts when responding to child abuse calls and questioning victims, caretakers and the alleged perpetrators. It also looks at the dos and don’t s when responding to sexual assault calls and questioning the victims, relatives and the alleged perpetrators.
When dealing with the child who has been abused, the interviewer has to listen and believe in the victim. This should be shown through words and deeds. One should make the encouragement to the victim to do more talking but they should not be forced to do so. The open ended questions should be used as opposed to the questions that are leading. One should give support to the child by telling him that he did the good thing by telling you the incident. The child should be led to know that you can help but any promises should not be made. One should be calm and not overreacting so as to prevent the child from being frightened. One should not talk negative things about the abuser under suspect. What should be done is just to assure that it was not the mistake of the child.
What the child says should be written down and be reported. Any symptom of abuse or neglect should be described in details so that it can be shared with the agencies that are appropriate.
To the caretakers and all persons who was available at the time of the abuse act. These people have to be interviewed separately. Do not join the interview as it will lead to the investigation being hurt. The consideration should be taken to any statement made by the caretakers to anyone concerning the act that happened to the child (Muram, 1995).
When dealing with the perpetrators, one must be careful about the change of statements that they make. The interviewer must quickly learn about the “killer couches,” and “killer cribs” since they are mostly used. Furthermore the criminal history of the perpetrators should be done. Never give up as they are unlikely to confess.
In the case of sexual assault, do believe the victim and assure that it’s not her/his fault; you should keep supporting and respecting the victim’s choices. One should provide the confidentiality of the information given and not disclose to somebody else. The danger should not be minimized to the victim and do not give the direction on what to do apart from providing the opinions. There should be no reactions with the sign of disbelieve. Do not encourage early forgiveness (Vieth, 1997)
On the part of the perpetrators, they should not be approached in private places and letting them know what the victim has reported. They should not give religious excuses. Do not confirm the victim’s story on them. Asses the suicide threats of the perpetrators. One should not allow the perpetrator’s denial of the case to be unanswered though do not use the means that may kill the collaboration of the suspect. The encouragement should be given so that the obstacles can be broken hence giving more information
For the relatives, the investigator should give more emphasize on the love of the assaulted to them, and the love of the victim to the relatives. Offer the encouragement to the family as a way of giving them hope.