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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ind. Courts - "Child abuse: How can we tell?"

The South Bend Tribune continues its focus on child abuse this Sunday with two stories by Virginia Black. The first is "Child abuse: How can we tell?," that begins:

In one courtroom, a judge apparently doesn't believe reports of a 6-year-old's accounts of his father's violence are serious enough to warrant taking him from that home.

In another, a different judge hears about a 4-year-old who says his parents locked him in a basement and that the boy's 5-year-old sister might have been sexually abused because she could describe her father's body parts. Yet the children's parents say neither is true.

And in the well-publicized case of 10-year-old Tramelle Sturgis, whose father was recently convicted of torturing and murdering the boy in November after years of abuse, testimony indicated that the Sturgis children usually denied they were being abused. Much of the questioning was conducted in the presence of their father or after he had been notified of the allegations.

When to believe the words of children -- often the only witnesses of their mistreatment -- is not an exact science, experts acknowledge.

The second story is headed "More on child abuse: What really happened?."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 24, 2012 10:47 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts