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In my opinion, all the 5 levels of expert testimony ultimately aid in shaping the expert’s testimony in determining whether the victim was raped or not. The first stage categorizes the victim’s behavior after the incident (whether he/she lied or not), while the three other…
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Psychology Questions al Affiliation) In my opinion, all the 5 levels of expert testimony ultimately aid in shaping the expert’s testimony in determining whether the victim was raped or not. The first stage categorizes the victim’s behavior after the incident (whether he/she lied or not), while the three other stages deal with investigating whether the victim has suffered from trauma (PTSD). All are very important and the fifth level is not possible without the previous four levels.
I think there is a double standard when it comes to women being abused and men being abused due to the widely held notion that men are always after sex and that it is impossible for a man to be raped since he always seeks sex. In addition, man are physically stronger than women, so it is easier to comprehend a man overpowering a woman than the other way round. Furthermore, the frequent occurrence of female abuse than male abuse makes it harder to believe when a man is abused than when a woman is abused.
I am of the opinion that many jurors belittle the suffering and pain of female victims of RTS and BWS due to media influences. There are significant cases when jurors have based their verdicts on episodes of television shows such as Law and Order and shows by prominent T.V personalities who perceive victims of RTS and BWS as being complacent in their crimes or faking their conditions for their own ulterior motives.
I think that Battered Women Syndrome (BWS) should be admissible in court and be distinguished separately from PTSD, because there is enough evidence to suggest that the syndrome is a prevalent psychological condition among women who have been in abusive relationships for years. Furthermore, the criteria for defining BWS, though similar to PTSD differs slightly. It salient characteristics include intimacy and sexual issues, problems with body image and disrupted interpersonal interactions.
According to Costanzo et al., children that have been abused tend to be shy and the effect of their abuse and victimization tends to be highly traumatic leading to repressed memories that if not handled well, lead to depression and other adverse side effects in their adulthood. By testifying in front of their abuser(s) in trial, children are able to confront their fears and deal with them. Furthermore, by participating in the sentencing, they are able to acquire a sense of importance in the process. However, the children should have a guardian present in order to reassure them (Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D, 2012).
I think that many adults are subject to false recovered memories due to their reliance on social consensus and influence of authorities and media. Adults are constantly bombarded by information on child abuse which imparts on their memory sensors, erroneously leading to the formation of false memories.
Many children often deny being sexually abused or fail to report the incident right away due to fear and shame. The victims often feel shamed because they blame themselves for the incident, often questioning why the abuser chose them particularly. They feel as if they are somehow weak and that is why they have been abused. In addition, the abusers often threaten the children with the death of their family members if they fail to remain silent.
In my opinion, adults should be allowed to testify via CCTV. This is because there are certain adult victims who are vulnerable and narrating their experiences in front of a jury may harm them even further. Victims such as those suffering from mental illness are a select portion of adult victims that should be allowed to testify through CCTV. In fact, there are numerous cases where adult victims of traumatic events have committed suicide just before testifying in front of a court.
Reference List
Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D. (2012). Forensic and Legal Psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publisher. Read More
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