The Legal System

It’s very difficult to predict what will happen after the report has been made and the case is in the legal system. Sometimes the chance to speak up about what happened can be a good thing for the child -whether or not the abuser is convicted. Many children are relieved to think that someone more powerful will tell the offender he/she is wrong. For other children, the events following the report can be scary.

Working With the Authorities
You can make the process easier for your child by working with and not against the authorities. The legal system may be able to protect your child from future unsupervised contact with the Offender. Working through the legal system is also a way to keep other children safe. Many offenders abuse more kids than those they actually have been caught molesting. In addition, most offenders do better in treatment with the force of the legal system behind them. It is a powerful way to hold the offender accountable for what he / she has done.

Victim Witness Program
The legal process is complex and can be confusing at times. The Prosecutor’s Office has a Victim Witness Program. The Victim Advocate is a team member at the CAC who will help you through this difficult period and will answer your questions, explain the types of victim assistance and services for which you may be eligible, and generally help you through this difficult period.

Prosecutor's Office
Once the investigation is complete, the case is given to the Prosecutor’s Office. The Assistant Prosecutor will be with you throughout the Judicial Process beginning with the Grand Jury. The Prosecutor builds a relationship with the child. If a trial is held, the Assistant Prosecutor will do the direct examination of the child so that the child can feel more comfortable.

Basic Steps to an Investigation

You can find the basic steps to an investigation on child sexual abuse here.