Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Green Intruder!

Children are our most precious gift. Their innocence and trusting nature are something we as parents must protect. My job sees me on a daily basis dealing with children whose innocence is gone and trust shattered. Yesterday afternoon, was a classic example.
To provide you with a bit of background, legislation changed at the beginning of last year, allowing children to give evidence (those kids in sexual cases mainly) in a room via close circuit television. The kid sees the judge, prosecutor and defence lawyer only, on the tv. All 3 ask questions, once over, the tape is then played back to the jury at the time of trial. It removes the stress of the child seeing the accused and being in a huge room with tons of people. We call this a "pre recording" of evidence. Next week sees me doing 8 seperate pre recordings of evidence.
The first being on Monday morning.
Yesterday afternoon i spent with a little girl of 6. This poor pumpkin gives her evidence on Monday for 2 separate cases she is/was involved with. Both unrelated.
Without going into too much detail, this baby has had a rough life, presently in foster care with some fabulous foster parents as her mother a drug addict is unable to cope with her.
Whilst living with mum, her innocence was taken from her, not once but 3 times. Thankfully, she is recieving counselling, and after chatting with her case worker and the little pumpkin herself, it appears she's not suffering too much trauma presently, however, as with most sexual matters, trauma can rear it's ugly head at anytime, perhaps not until one is in adulthood, perhaps at ones first sexual experience as an adult.........it only takes a trigger, and last a lifetime.
My point with this post i guess, is to enlighten you on how bastards that take away kids innocence and trust walk free to do it all over.
Whilst chatting with her yesterday, she was happily coloring...drawing, showing me how she is able to write her name. Happily doing handstands, revealing what she's wearing to court next week. In general doing things 6 yolds do :) I began explaining what will happen on the day, what the room is like, who'll ask her questions, who she will see. Of course, i could not go into to too much detail, there's only a certain amount a 6 yold can take in......although some 6 yolds are vocal and bright, this one really neither.
So, on the day, she'll be asked certain questions, unfortunately because of her age and demeenour, she'll either not remember the answers.......or not respond.............providing no evidence of what happened to her.
So, when the jury views the tape, the little pumpkin will come across not too credible. It will be up to the jury whether the accused walks. Will the other evidence be strong enough?
It's difficult, but it's what happens time and time again. Face it, these cases take up to 2 years to get to trial.....adults have trouble remembering what we had for lunch a week ago, imagine a child. I feel the accused in this one may get lucky. Sad :(

till next time, Michelle.


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