Seksualinę prievartą, patyrusių vaikų psichologinio saugumo užtikrinimas baudžiamojo proceso metu.
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Crimes of children sexual abuse are not a new phenomenon, but for a long time it was taboo to the public. As parents and professionals got more and more aware of it, public opinion has started to change. This leads as well to the great increase of number of children who were suspected being sexually abused. It is known that only 10% of child sexual abuses are reported. In 2004 there were 210 reports on child sexual abuse in Lithuania. That number includes 113 cases of rape, 47 cases of child sexual abuse and 50 cases of preteen molestation. By evaluating current situation of sexually abused children it is evident that support which these children get is insufficient and ineffective, moreover these children are repeatedly traumatized in this support system. When the case is reported a child has to face 4-5 or even more different institutions which provide social, psychological or legal support. The limits of such a support as well as the functions of different organizations in this child supporting system are unclear, legal system is unfavourable toward aggrieved party and this may lead to second traumatization of the child during this child-supporting process. The consequences of sexual abuse might be severely aggravated due to the second trauma and an impact on child’s behaviour and emotional state might be much worse than from the very abuse itself. During legal investigation several factors are defined which traumatizes a child: repeated inquiries, long investigation, confrontation with perpetrator during pre-court inquiries and in the court, and inappropriate advocating for the child interests during legal investigation. These factors may put heavy strain and afflict high anxiety on the child and that may have negative impact on reliability and precision of his testimonies. Despite the fact that current legal system in Lithuania is unfavourable toward abused child, it is possible to heighten psychological safety of the child during legal proceeding. It is important to ensure functionality of some current legal requirements such as: child’s legal inquiry may only be conducted once, these inquiries should be video and audio taped and these records might be used in legal proceedings. And negative consequences caused by legal investigation might be eased with these interventions: by decreasing the number of inquiries as much as possible, using video-audio recording technique, appropriate preparation of professionals who conduct inquiries, psychological preparation of the child for the legal proceedings, advocating for the best interests of an abused child during legal investigation.
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