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Interviewing child witnesses of child sexual abuse cases

Show simple item record Mooi, T. G., & Awal, N. A. M. 2021-11-04T15:21:49Z 2021-11-04T15:21:49Z 2018
dc.identifier.citation Mooi, T. G., & Awal, N. A. M. (2018). Interviewing child witnesses of child sexual abuse cases. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 8(7), 354-366. en_US
dc.description.abstract The Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007 makes provision for a child witness’s statement to be video recorded during police investigation with the aim of reducing the trauma of the child in recalling the crime against him/her and avoiding face-to-face confrontation with his/her abuser in court. An increasing number of interviews with child witnesses have been video recorded by the Sexual and Child Investigation Division (D11) of the Royal Malaysia Police but only 20% or lesser of the recordings have been eventually tendered in courts over the years. Face-to-face interviews with ten former and current D11 officers were conducted to determine the factors contributing to the low percentage of utilization of video recorded statements. It was found that the factors of such shortfall are: the accused perpetrators were not charged in courts due to the lack of concrete evidence or the complainants/victims withdrew the case; the perpetrators pleaded guilty in courts; the child witnesses were considered by the Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) competent to testify in courts and thus the prerecorded statements were disregarded; the weaknesses of the video recording; and the lack of logistical support in the courts to facilitate the testimony of child witness. A case study of an incident where a four-year-old Chinese girl was raped by her kindergarten principal’s husband between January and April 2008 in Penang further revealed that under-staffing in D11 and weaknesses of the Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007 also pose obstacles to the effective production of quality video recordings by the police. Section 6(2)(a) and (b) of the Act require that the transcript of the video recording to be produced in the original language, and be translated in cases where the language is not Bahasa Malaysia. Thus extra burden is put on the shoulders of D11 officers in cases involving non-Malay child victims. The problem is compounded by the dearth of female officers who are conversant, both orally and in written form, in dialects or languages other than the national language as well as having been trained to conduct the video recording. It is suggested that Section 6(2)(a) and (b) of the Act to be amended. Instead, section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code may be adopted where the interview of witnesses may be conducted in any language but the written statements recorded in Bahasa Malaysia, and where necessary, the service of an interpreter may be used. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher International Journal of Asian Social Science en_US
dc.subject child sexual abuse en_US
dc.subject research en_US
dc.subject International Resources en_US
dc.subject Malaysia en_US
dc.subject forensic interview en_US
dc.subject video recording en_US
dc.title Interviewing child witnesses of child sexual abuse cases en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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