Vulnerable Witnesses Bill a crucial step to ensuring children do not suffer further trauma
Welcoming the publication of the Justice Committee's Stage 1 report on the Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill, Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive of Children 1st, Scotland's national children's charity said:
"Supporting children to give their best possible evidence, is right for them, right for the accused and right for our justice system.
"Pre-recording children's evidence, outwith court, is a crucial step to ensuring children do not suffer further trauma. Children in domestic abuse cases are still being intimidated by coming across the accused in court settings, so we fully support the Committee's recommendation to extend pre-recording to children in these cases.
"We welcome the Committee's recognition that children need the system to transform further and faster. Children will only be able to give their best evidence when the whole system meets their needs. The Barnahus or "Child's House" approach is the best way to get it right for children from the moment they tell their story, to the support they and their family need to recover from experiences that could have a life long impact."
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Through local and national services Children 1st provide emotional and practical support to children and families to prevent neglect, abuse and harm and help families and communities to keep children safe. We support survivors of abuse and trauma to recover and work tirelessly to influence public policy so that the rights of children in Scotland are protected.