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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Safeguarding Child-Victims’ Rights Initiative Launches Training

January 10, 2012

Imagine a child.  Imagine the child is abused.  Imagine that, against the odds, the child’s abuse comes to light and law enforcement gets involved.  One might imagine that the horror is now over and only healing remains.  But the truth is the child is now thrust into a complicated and foreign world of agencies, prosecutors, court dates, and new stresses. 

This child needs an ally who is trained to listen to her, stand up for her rights, and advocate on her behalf to ensure that she is treated fairly and has access to justice.  She needs a well-trained victims’ rights attorney.

From the myriad of legal systems that may be involved in a case involving a child-victim, to challenges that face practitioners who represent child-victims who are at different developmental stages, protecting a child-victim’s rights presents unique hurdles to lawyers working with these victims.

As part of NCVLI’s commitment to furthering the rights of child-victims of crime, the Safeguarding Child-Victims’ Rights Initiative has spent the past year working with an eleven-member multidisciplinary curriculum committee to  develop an intensive two-day, skills-based training on how to provide effective rights enforcement representation to child-victims of crime.  The pilot launch of the training will take place at Lewis & Clark Law School on February 24th and 25thFor further information about the pilot launch training and to register, click here.  Two additional trainings will be offered in locations across the country in the Spring and Summer of 2012.

This intensive two-day training will provide participants with an overview of victims’ rights and a detailed afternoon of child development knowledge and age-appropriate techniques for working with a child-victim client.  The training focuses heavily on practical litigation skills that can assist attorneys in asserting victims’ rights throughout a criminal case against a child-victim’s offender.  Specifically, the training will cover: 1) Entering a Case, 2) Protecting Child-Victims’ Identities in Court Proceedings, 3) Privacy and Subpoenas, 4) Release Conditions and Protective Orders, 5) the Right to be Present, 6) Testimonial Accommodations, 7) Preparing the Child-Victim for Testimony and Being Heard, 8) Restitution, and 9) Pleas.  Additional sessions will focus on ethical issues, issue-spotting and referrals for related issues, and resisting the temptation to be all things to a child-victim client.

Child-victims need an ally who can tackle the complex and unique issues that arise when they become involved with the justice system.  NCVLI’s two-day training will ensure that these children have someone to turn to. 


This project is funded by Grant No. 2010-VF-GX-K004 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.