For Children

Ten questions about the hearing you didn’t have the courage to ask

If you have been the victim of an abusive situation, either at the hands of someone you know or someone you don’t know and you are about to be heard, we will explain below what to expect and how you can better prepare for your hearing.

  • What is the hearing?

The hearing is actually a discussion that you will have with a specialist, discussion where you will be asked to tell as best you can what really happened to you.

  • What will I have to do at the hearing?

All you have to do at the hearing is to tell as best you can and in as much detail as you can about the event you went through. It is absolutely necessary to tell the truth and only tell what really happened to you. If you find it difficult to tell your story at the hearing, the person you talk to will help you with questions.

  • Who I will talk to?

The hearing will be conducted either by a police officer, prosecutor, judge or psychologist. You will therefore be talking to one of these people. Their intention will be to get to know you better and listen to you carefully when you tell them about things that have happened to you and events you have really been through. From time to time they will ask you questions and the purpose of the questions is for the person you are talking to to understand as well as possible what you have been through.

  • How long will the hearing last?

In general the hearing will last a maximum of one hour. During this time, the person you will be talking to will have time to understand the event you have been through as well as possible. However, the person hearing you may sometimes need more time to ask you questions and to get a better understanding of what you have been through.

  • Where will my parents stay?

Generally in the room or chamber where the hearing will take place, it will be just you and the person hearing you. Your parents will wait in another room until the hearing is over

  • Who else will attend the hearing?

Along with the person who will hear you and your parents, a lawyer or a representative of the Child Protection Agency may attend the hearing. It is important to know, however, that you will generally only discuss the event you have been through face-to-face with one person, without the others present.

  • What will happen after the hearing?

Once the police officer, prosecutor or psychologist has heard all the details of the event you have been through from you, they will continue their investigation to solve the case. You will go home with your family and be able to go back to school and your friends, as you have done before. The hearing will not change your daily schedule.

  • After the hearing is over, will I be taken away from my family?

This is a general fear of children who have been auditioned, and the most general answer to this question is that no, you will not be taken away from your family once you have recounted the event you went through. On the contrary, once the hearing is over, everyone involved in the investigation of the event will try to protect and support you. If the person who assaulted you is part of your family, you will live separately from that person so that they do not have access to you, and you will only live with those family members with whom you will be safe.

  • After the hearing, will I be asked to say anything else?

Generally no, but there may be situations where the person who interviewed you wants to add to the information they have, or some aspects have not been sufficiently clarified. Therefore, there may be situations where you will be contacted again to provide further information. The rules of the hearing will apply in any situation where you are talking to the police officer or prosecutor: you will only tell what really happened to you and only what you remember.

Also, if you remember anything else or want to add anything to what you originally told, you can always contact the police officer in charge of the case or the person who interviewed you.

  • What else should I know?

It is important to know that the hearing is not an interrogation, you are not a suspect, you did nothing wrong and you will not be held responsible for the event you were the victim of. The hearing is the place where you can finally tell what really happened to you and where you will get support from the people who are in charge of finding the truth and restoring justice – police, prosecutors or judges.


Article written by Patricia Aramă, clinical psychologist



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