How to be sure justice is legally served if your child falls victim to abuse

ST. GEORGE – Did you know if your child is a victim of abuse, their statements can be dismissed in court if they have been questioned too extensively by a parent or another adult?

The St. George Police Department offered tips Thursday on what to do if your child is the victim of an abuse crime to ensure justice is served.

“Just as the protection of your children is important to you, it is also important to our Police Department. We want to make sure that justice is served if the children in our community are victims of an abuse crime,” the Police Department said in a press statement, urging parents to please follow simple tips to help police do their job.

If you think your child has been the victim of a crime, the first thing you’re asked to do is call the police.

Not only will the department help by investigating and determining if there is a crime, it will connect you to its Victim’s Services Department to help you and your family through the healing process and getting the assistance your family needs.

Do not question your child.

“We know, we know — that sounds crazy right? But it’s true,” the Police Department said in its statement. “Detectives go through extensive training so that we cannot be accused of ‘leading’ or ‘creating memories’ for the child. Please understand — we will get the information, but we have to follow a certain procedure to get it.”

Never use statements or ask questions such as: “Is that the guy?” while pointing at people, or “Was it (insert name of person)?” or “Did they do (insert example) this to you?” the department said, adding that officers know how hard this can be, as most of them are parents too.

“Unfortunately,” the department said, “all those statements could be considered leading the child and damage the case for court.”

However, this does not mean you cannot listen to your child, the statement said. If they are telling you something, listen closely to what they are saying and let them know you’re listening.

For more information about abuse crimes, visit the Kid’s Health website, or call the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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