A child as victim of crime - Police
Lapsi rikoksen kohteena -en
Offences against children
If a child becomes a victim of a crime, always contact the police and, if necessary, file a police report.
If a child begins to tell you something about the crime, take notes. Do not let your own interpretations affect how you record what the child is saying. Do not ask the child too many questions or pressure them, as you could be muddling the child’s recollections and influence their story with your own perceptions.
The police can also question children in the course of pre-trial investigations. Children are always questioned by a specially trained officer or a forensic psychologist, depending on the type of crime and the child’s age.
The police explains the process to the child’s family. Children who are injured parties in criminal cases have the right to legal counsel. The counsel can explain the criminal process to the child’s family in more detail and help them with the case, allowing the family to focus on the child’s well-being. A legal guardian can also be appointed for the child if, for example, the family wishes to seek damages.
Crimes committed against children are tough for the whole family. The police can provide information about parties who can help. Both the child and other members of their family may need counselling. In criminal cases, help and support are available from, for example, Victim Support Finland. It is important for the child’s loved ones to be able to unburden themselves by talking about the incident with a neutral party and not in front of the child.