|False Accusations and Child Abuse Investigations|
It is a common misconception that the child’s therapist or a social worker is the most effective interviewer for an alleged child victim of molestation and abuse. But in reality, what transpires is a series of information that’s tainted and biased.
The problem with the present societal norms is that when it comes to accusations of child molestation, there is enormous condemnation towards the accused and a rather publicized campaign to put the offender and molester behind bars. There is nothing wrong with it if the accused is actually guilty. But what if he’s not? What if he is an unfortunate victim of false accusations?
In criminal law, the accused is always presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But in child molestation cases, the scenario is very different. This is primarily due to the fact that there is a very big pressure on the shoulders of law enforcers to produce a positive outcome intended to support the alleged victim and punish the accused. After all, it is of society’s great concern when children are abused and when someone is accused of doing so; there is that uniform mentality that he is already guilty of a crime.
If you’re a parent whose child has accused someone of molestation, there is no doubt you’re on his/her side. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t deny that when you begin to see some inconsistencies or traces of lies about his/her statement, you will still strive hard to cover it up and push through with the case.If you’re a parent whose child has accused someone of molestation, there is no doubt you’re on his/her side. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t deny that when you begin to see some inconsistencies or traces of lies about his/her statement, you will still strive hard to cover it up and push through with the case.
But with much attention and sympathy gained by the alleged child victims, there’s no guarantee as to the authenticity and honesty of every child molestation accusation put up day by day. Now can we possibly extract a consistent, reliable, and honest statement from the victim? Yes we can, and here are four important things to look at:
1. The lead investigator in a child molestation case should first check his stance. There should be no attached emotion or bias either to the accused or the alleged child victim. This is very important especially in the conduct of the interview since premeditated feelings can lead to a very sympathetic evaluation either for the victim’s allegations or the accused person’s defense.
2. The reason why a law enforcement agent or forensic interviewer is better than a social worker or child therapist in conducting the interview or questioning is because the former does not have any previous attachment towards the victim while the latter may unknowingly build support to the child because of the nature of her profession. This means that there’s a likely scenario of getting to the side of the alleged victim even though the interviewer sees lies and fabrication.
3. Interviewing the alleged victim may result to either accuracy or inaccuracy. The former takes place when the investigator is able to extract information through a free narrative as a sort of response from a series of open-ended questions. This means that the child has the liberty to answer questions based on what really happened without any type of interference or lead questions that may produce a sort of pattern or planned picture of the whole story. The latter meanwhile happens when there is a biased level of suggestiveness on the part of the investigator. This means that he carefully chooses the questions to be asked and then tries to influence the answer of the alleged victim in order to arrive at a particular scenario that would likely lead to placing the accused being named guilty.
4. Every second and word counts so the whole investigation and interview session should be recorded so as to provide physical evidence and documentation for future court proceedings.