Why is a child’s statement not enough?
Imagine a guy whose 16-year-old daughter has accused him of sexual abuse. Not once or twice, but for six years.
Which child would accuse her father on such grounds over nothing? It could be incomplete or it could be exaggerated, but if a child says such a thing, it is considered true.
The guy has been arrested and is facing 18 years in prison for “repeated child sexual abuse.” However, the person remained in prison for a grand total of 25 days before being released.
Felat Bozarslan from Doğan News Agency (DHA) wrote that even though the office of the prosecutor, the lawyer for the Family and Social Policies Ministry and the lawyer for the victim demanded the arrest of the father, who is from Diyarbakır, he was let out.
The father cannot go near the house where the daughter lives with her sister and mother due to a restraining order, but these kids naturally leave the house and go to school.
As a matter of fact, the father, as soon as he was released, went to his younger daughter’s school and battered both his daughter and her friends.
The court set this kind of man free. The 15-year-old younger sister has been heard as a witness in the court; she has also admitted that just like her older sister, she has been the victim of her father’s sexual abuse.
The court released the father and also failed to file a criminal complaint based on the younger daughter’s admission in court.
This is a crime of sexual abuse. The court has clearly reached an opinion on whether or not this crime has been committed. Or perhaps it is passing it off as “simple harassment.” As a matter of fact, this is not a crime that can be evaluated as harassment. It is a constantly ongoing crime; it is abuse.
In any case, the court does not believe the child and has ruled that such an incident did not happen.
When children declare they have been abused, how, then, are we going to decide? Will courts, from now on, say, “There is only the child’s declaration; there is no adequate evidence?” How are we going to protect these children if this occurs?
The basic grounds should be the child’s declaration. How can those courts who consider the issue from the standpoint of the classic mentality of “One cannot be punished based on a declaration alone” protect the best interests of children?
If two children at the same time declare that they have been sexually abused by their father, what more evidence is the court looking for? Children cannot slander, as grownups do, in these matters; our justice system is out of step with kids.
Following the younger sister’s admission, the lawyers asked the court whether or not it would launch legal proceedings. They got this answer: “The office of the prosecutor is there; you can do whatever you want.”
Actually, a declaration was made in the presence of the court; the court has an obligation to report it; but the court does not have this sensitivity.
I have been writing on cases concerning children for some time. It is not difficult to see that there is a serious problem concerning judges in trials involving children. The judges do not make any effort to understand the child. They practice classic criminal justice with the mentality of “I cannot punish this man with just a witness or the complainant’s declaration.”
Actually, when a child is involved in an incident, you cannot regard it this way. It is two young girls of 15 and 16 years old who are declaring that they have been sexually abused.
The judges may be out of step with kids, but have they never been children themselves?