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THT Factsheet CWP

THT Factsheet CWP

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Published by arthurmathieu

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Published by: arthurmathieu on Feb 04, 2012
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02/04/2012

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ObservationsAbout Offenders
many adolescents charged with offencesagainst other youth have themselvespreviously been victims or witnessesof crime
many youth charged under the YCJA willbe considered for extra-judicial sanctionsincluding restorative “conferencing”where victims may be asked to participate
where there is no domestic violencetreatment program for adolescents,youth offenders of intimatepartner/domestic violence will not havean “early intervention” treatment optionequivalent to that for adults
Observations AboutVictims
&
Witnesses
violent crime can affect the emotionaland psychological health of adolescentvictims and negatively impact socialinteractions and academic achievement
participating in the justice system is aprolonged and stressful time for youngvictims and witnesses and can affect theirday-to-day functioning: some perceivetheir lives as being “on hold” until thecourt outcome
characteristics of the offence alone arenot usually the best indicator of degreeof trauma experienced by young victims
most victims and offenders are acquaint-ed with one another; their continuedcontact in school or neighbourhood canbe intimidating and distressing
facing the accused and testifying in anopen courtroom are stressful situationsfor most victims: testimonial aids canalleviate much of this anxiety
court-related worries expressed by wit-nesses in peer assault cases tend to focuson ability to testify well and concernabout cross-examination
contact with the offender as part of arestorative “conference” can be highlystressful for some young victims of inter-personal peer violence
victims may be unaware that their state-ments (written or video-recorded) areroutinely provided to defence counsel
...helpingthevictimsof ‘youthon youth’ criminal violence
IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILD WITNESS SUPPORT PROGRAMS
The Teens Hurting Teens Study is a collaborative effort of the London PoliceService and the Child Witness Project of the Centre for Children and Familiesin the Justice System, funded by Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General.
 The focus is on violent crime committed by youth against other youth. We reada random sample of 247 police reports from a three-year period before and afterthe proclamation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), analysed all policeoccurrences for 2004, reviewed 105 case files from the Child Witness Project,and interviewed 17 young people (and their parents) who experienced or wit-nessed peer violence. In addition to a summary report, we have fact sheets of recommendations for four professional groups: schools, police, prosecutors,and those who help young witnesses prepare for court.
Victims and witnesses of peer-on-peer violence can present complex and complicated issuesfor their supporters. They may appear more mature and informed than they are. Many will be reluctant to reveal feelings of vulnerability and may have difficulty expressing their fearsor concerns about testifying. Some are embarrassed to label themselves as “victims” and others will have a history of victimization they may not disclose. They are best served by identification of individual needs early in their involvement with the justice system.

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