Supreme Court on Interviewing Children with their Abusers

In Maryland v. Craig, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote “A state`s interest in the physical and psychological well-being of child-abuse victims may be sufficiently important to outweigh…. a defendant`s right to face his or her accusers in court.''

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Justice Day’s persuasive logic, and common sense, make the current practice of interviewing child abuse victims in front of their alleged abusers seem inexplicable.  But we also recognize that this practice is a reaction to parents sometimes being interviewed disrespectfully, often compounded by not getting the services they need to address child protection’s concerns.

These perspectives aren’t mutually exclusive.  Obtaining facts is essential to keeping children safe.  But parents should also be treated respectfully and given the support they need to succeed.  In fact, doing both is just good social work.

What do you think?

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Rich Gehrman1 Comment