As more youngsters are subjected to sexual assault and are required to testify in court about their horrific experiences, a new book provides advice on the court experience.
Three individuals, including two with ties to the Kitchener Child Witness Centre, wrote “Child Victims in Canada’s Justice System.” The book gives suggestions on how to help child victims navigate the judicial system and minimize future suffering.
Anyone who works with children or in the judicial system can benefit from this book to provide greater assistance for juvenile victims. Each year, more than 500 kids are sent to the centre, which offers advocacy, support, education, and court accompaniment for young victims.
Reynolds noted that those were the only instances in which police were engaged, adding that the number was increasing every year.
Reynolds co-wrote the book with Loree Beniuk, a Mississauga social worker who was active with child witness and treatment programs in the Toronto region, and Jo-Anne Hughes, the Kitchener centre’s co-founder and program manager who worked with child victims for more than 17 years.
With court rules and procedures unknown to many younger individuals, this book sets out to explain the process in an attempt top reduce any potential anxiety regarding the experience. Many child victims already have extreme anxiety about appearing in court, and this book can help calm their experience.