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Supporting role

March 8th, 2007

The NSPCC is urging all 1,419 of their campaigning supporters living in Devon to back their call to the Government to ensure all child witnesses have the support they need to bring abusers to justice.

The charity says more money is needed to improve services in England and Wales, which are inconsistent and under-funded.

Registered supporters are being sent a special postcard to complete and post to Baroness Scotland, Minister for Justice at the Home Office. Cards can also be emailed via the NSPCC’s website.

Every year, 29,000 children - some as young as five - give evidence in court. Many fail to get proper services to support them through the confusion and distress of appearing as a witness. Some children say the experience is as traumatic as the abuse they have suffered.

An NSPCC and Victim Support survey of 50 child witnesses revealed that half did not understand the words or phrases being used in court and almost as many had been accused of lying under cross-examination.

NSPCC director and chief executive Dame Mary Marsh told PRSD: “Abused children have already suffered horrific experiences. Facing court can reopen old wounds.

“Without support they are left vulnerable and ill-equipped to face interrogation in court and provide robust evidence to convict their abuser and achieve justice.”

Posted by Thin White Duke

Entry Filed under: Society

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