(WTAJ) — Pennsylvania’s auditor general released a new report today outlining the shortcomings of the state’s protections for child abuse victims.
Eugene DePasquale said the current appeals process forces some children to sit face to face with their accused abuser and recount the abuse they suffered.
This practice is a direct contradiction of the recommendation from the American Bar Association.
DePasquale said putting children in this position risks them being further traumatized and could have lifelong consequences and adds that for children’s mental health and safety they should be able to testify by video.
“Allowing abusers to directly confront emotionally fragile children in a court hearing is a fool practice that should have ended decades ago,” DePasquale said.
DePasquale is making 7 recommendations based on the findings, which includes the general assembly and the department of human services working with the nonprofit, Pennsylvania Court-appointed Special Advocates Association to develop a program for volunteers to support children required to provide testimony.