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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Child-Victims’ Rights

The epidemic of child-victimization is a problem of national concern.  When children are abused or victimized and the offense is reported to the authorities, both law enforcement and social services officials may respond to the report.  In some cases, the reported violence eventually results in prosecution in criminal or juvenile delinquency courts, which means that child-victims may find themselves thrust into a myriad of unfamiliar justice systems and processes.

In addition to the state constitutional amendments and state and federal statutory schemes that provide crime victims – including child-victims – with general victims’ rights, special laws have been passed that provide protections tailored specifically to the needs of child-victims.  Navigation of the legal systems involved in responding to crime against child-victims is incredibly complex, even for trained lawyers, and it is entirely unsurprising that child-victims struggle to comprehend and traverse the legal landscapes they face.  Without effective legal representation, not only may child-victims be unable to enforce their rights, but they may not even be capable of gaining a meaningful understanding of them. 

Children victimized by crime are one of the most vulnerable victim populations, and NCVLI is committed to improving the legal representation of child-victims.  NCVLI’s goal is to ensure that all victims, including child-victims, have the opportunity to exercise their rights in the manner they choose. 

To access NCVLI publications related to child-victims, click here to visit our Victim Law Library.  To request legal technical assistance, click here.  To request a training, click here.