The reliability of children’s testimonies

Henry Otgaar*, Corine de Ruiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Children’s testimonies about abusive experiences can play a pivotal role in the criminal justice system. This is especially the case when other types of evidence (such as videos, technical traces) are absent. In such cases, it is imperative that children’s testimonies accurately reflect what they have experienced. In the current article, the reliability of children’s statements is discussed. We discuss what children can remember of traumatic incidents and elaborate on how children’s false memories can be relatively easily evoked. Furthermore, we discuss how children can best be interviewed using scientifically supported interview protocols. Children’s testimonies can be decisive in legal decision-making. Hence, it is of the utmost importance that these statements are reliable.
Translated title of the contributionThe reliability of children’s testimonies
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)233–248
JournalPedagogiek: Wetenschappelijk forum voor opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Children, false memory, trauma, memory

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