The statement that “Children do not ever lie” is a widely acknowledged statement. But, more or less, it is usually taken too far away and blindly overstated, especially in cases of sexual abuse. It is a fact that children do not lie about things like sexual exploitation.
But, they are highly imaginative, and this can color their understanding of reality and truth.
Children will tell the truth, but that truth may be their perspective mixed with their imagination of what really happened. So, what is usually done to prove the above theory wrong, is that children are asked to divulge more details, as they feel that children will never know the tiny details of a sexual act without being a victim of it.
However, in times like today, undermining the knowledge of children can be wrong. There are many sources, very easily available to children that may give them the idea and facts about the sexual acts, the most common being movies, videotapes, and actually seeing sexual relations between parents. The other major source of information can be contact with other children who have such knowledge or who have been traumatized by sexual abuse by sibling or someone else. Media also helps increase a child’s information, even in the form of educational documentaries.
These things need to be kept in mind while evaluating a child’s responses and not being swayed blindly by the child’s reports during interrogation. Children do not lie, but neither do they have strong control over their imagination. But, one must not undermine what they say too, as it might as well be true.
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