The authors aim to analyze the key aspects related to the testimony of children who might have been victims of sexual harassment and abuse. The issue of medico-legal psychiatric assessment of minors who claim to have been sexually abused is extremely contentious and widely-debated, not only due to the growing spread of such claims, but also on account of the technical challenges it raises. For these reasons, national as well as European lawmakers have intervened by enacting new legislation, and scientific communities have established new sets of guidelines aimed at improving the overall conditions under which a child is called to testify as well as the process through which depositions are collected and evaluated, so as to ensure that any assessment of the reliability of the testimony is scientifically grounded. The authors also highlight the importance of regulatory measures meant to minimize the risk that the questioning of a child might negatively affect his or her emotional balance by limiting and lessening stressful conditions and anxiety, which may traumatize and irretrievably scar the child. Moreover, they stress the importance of dealing with the social issue of child abuse by strengthening a preventive set of measures.

The credibility of testimony from minors allegedly victims of abuse within the Italian legislative framework / Montanari Vergallo, G.; Marinelli, E.; Mastronardi, V.; di Luca, N. M.; Zaami, S.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 0160-2527. - 56:(2018), pp. 58-64. [10.1016/j.ijlp.2017.11.002]

The credibility of testimony from minors allegedly victims of abuse within the Italian legislative framework

Montanari Vergallo, G.;Marinelli, E.;Mastronardi, V.;di Luca, N. M.;Zaami, S.
2018

Abstract

The authors aim to analyze the key aspects related to the testimony of children who might have been victims of sexual harassment and abuse. The issue of medico-legal psychiatric assessment of minors who claim to have been sexually abused is extremely contentious and widely-debated, not only due to the growing spread of such claims, but also on account of the technical challenges it raises. For these reasons, national as well as European lawmakers have intervened by enacting new legislation, and scientific communities have established new sets of guidelines aimed at improving the overall conditions under which a child is called to testify as well as the process through which depositions are collected and evaluated, so as to ensure that any assessment of the reliability of the testimony is scientifically grounded. The authors also highlight the importance of regulatory measures meant to minimize the risk that the questioning of a child might negatively affect his or her emotional balance by limiting and lessening stressful conditions and anxiety, which may traumatize and irretrievably scar the child. Moreover, they stress the importance of dealing with the social issue of child abuse by strengthening a preventive set of measures.
2018
child; competence to testify; psychological evaluation; sexual violence; 2734; psychiatry and mental health; law
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
The credibility of testimony from minors allegedly victims of abuse within the Italian legislative framework / Montanari Vergallo, G.; Marinelli, E.; Mastronardi, V.; di Luca, N. M.; Zaami, S.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW AND PSYCHIATRY. - ISSN 0160-2527. - 56:(2018), pp. 58-64. [10.1016/j.ijlp.2017.11.002]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1101500
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