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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 152-160

How to ensure children's credibility of testimony in sexual abuse cases

School of Law, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, Henan 471023, China

Correspondence Address:
Wei-Hsin Chang
School of Law, Henan University of Science and Technology, 263, Kaiyuan Avenue, Luoyang, Henan 471023
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_15_17

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There were several sexual abuse cases in Taiwan where the defendants having committed child rapes either received light punishment or held not guilty. This led to the White Rose Movement in 2010, whereby the court decisions were criticized ruthlessly by people. Among those problematic court decisions with absurd reasoning, we have suspected that the legislative purpose of statutory rape and that of forcible rape applied to children and adults separately were mistakenly mixed. It resulted in the consent of intercourse becoming a legal constituent requirement taken into consideration in child rape cases. However, a child's consent on sex is invalid in the U.S. laws. Since the child's testimony was thought less creditable by some psychologists, Taiwanese courts have admitted the reports of defendant's polygraph and child victim's hymen tests to be presented in court to ensure the child's credibility. This paper, thus, based on Taiwan's judicial experience, aims to explore the child's credibility of testimony from legal and forensic linguistic aspects and to present an assessing method for reference.

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