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Preparing A Young Victim To Testify

Updated on August 5, 2012

Child Abuse

Have you ever had to testify as a child/teenager for abuse?

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Were you abused in anyway as a child or teen?

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In what way were you abused as a child?

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Helping your child through the court process.

One of the hardest thing for a parent is watching your child go through something that you just cannot understand or relate to. When this happens parents often tend to hurt their children even more without meaning to. A young victim is hurt and desperately needs someone to help them through the court process.

Get your child a counselor

  • A counselor will help your child get their story out with out any judgment.

  • Helps your child know they can still have trust in people.

  • Gives your child a friend.

  • Counselors know what to expect in a courtroom and can prepare your child with certain questions.

If your child wants to tell you their story of what happened

  • Do not shut them out. Them telling you means they trust you. It will be hard listening to what happened and that is okay. Take a deep breath, and stay strong.

  • Listen to them and let them know you are listening.

If your child does not want to tell you what happened

  • Don't get your feelings hurt.

  • It is important not to force it out of them.

  • Information they are not ready to get out can do more harm than good.

  • Children do not like to upset their parents and they may not want to hurt you or even disappoint you.

Be their friend

  • Don't stop parenting; but be sure to have one on one time with your child.

  • Try not to make them uncomfortable.

  • Try not to force yourself on your child; hangout with them if they would like to hangout.

Get the child out of the house

  • Give them money to go see a movie with a friend or family member; even if it is not with you.

  • Set up a sleep over with someone that you trust.

  • Go to the playground or somewhere fun; it will help to see your child smile and laugh.

Try Not To Treat Them Any Differently

  • Be there for them but do not let them do things they would not normally be allowed to do. Even if it is having a snack at a different time.

  • Stick to household rules. No cell phone after 8 (example).

Do Not Laugh or Make Fun

  • Even if you think it may lighten the mood please do not think your child will think it is funny.

  • It will hurt them.

  • It could even cause more mental scars than there should be.

  • This is something that hurt your child; they do not need to be hurt by someone they love and trust.

Children should be outside running and playing with friends. Not worrying about what they will say in court and not meeting with a counselor every week. Unfortunately it happens and when it does a child is shattered and it can take awhile to pick up the pieces. Even then there will be quite a few scars. Sometimes they will be fragile and relationships will be tough for them. Of course every person is very different. Never take what your child says for granted always trust what they have to say, it is and always should be important.

This will be tough on the both of you but it is important to stay strong for your child. It is probably a good idea for you to visit with a counselor as well. So you know what to expect with your child and court. Since you will most likely have to testify.

The defendant's attorney will make the questions hard for you which is why you need to practice them. He will try to make you the blame or even worse he will say your child is lying and/or make you feel like your child is lying. It is important to stay strong; answer the questions and never stop believing your child.

If your child is a teen do not think they should have known better. They had no reason to know better. Especially if it was an adult to abuse them in some way. Be their parent and love them unconditionally. They deserve it!

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    • zsobig profile image

      Sophie 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Interesting article, I hope I will never have to follow its tips though.

      Still, great ideas/points provided, I would only add one thing:

      no matter what happened, people should never MAKE their children to tell what happened. This can cause more trouble than good as this way the kid will only relive what had happened. The best is if you leave them alone and let them 'forget' (or at least try to) about the whole thing and I believe later they will open up if they are prepared. This is only my opinion though.

      Voted up + useful!