I believe children can be reliable witnesses if the right professional is conducting the interviews, especially the initial one. Child sexual abuse is the most controversial crime because it affects the most innocent and weakest members of society. As a mother I cannot stand crimes against children and every time I see child abuse cases, I automatically see my children’ faces. With this in mind I believe when officers involve in sexual abuse cases against children, feel the same way I do, and desperately try to find the guilty person. Officers interviewing the young victims, have no doubt like I did before children would never lie about such crime. After all, how can a 4 year-old have such detailed ideas about sexual attitudes and actions? . However, the readings for the week proved me somewhat wrong, demonstrating children are not better witnesses as adults. According to Costanzo & Krauss (2012), because the ability to encode, store, and retrieve information is not fully developed in young children, the problems surrounding memory are significantly amplified when a witness to a victim is a child” (p. 236).
I believe children can describe most accurately a sexual abuse situation if the professional knows how ask questions without inducing stress in the child. According to Goodman (2005), “accuracy of children's testimony heavily depends on how they are interviewed” (p.1) and questions that give a child the chance to express themselves and tell the story. Psychologists should be the ones interviewing child victims instead of officers because officers are trying to find the guilty person, but the psychologist is trying to find the truth, even if there is no crime or criminal.