Recording a Child’s Statement on Sexual Abuse

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

Portfolio Keyphrase: Recording sexual abuse statement of child

Tags: Abuse, Violence, Crime, Children, Explainer, Courts, Police

[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on sexual and physical violence which some readers may find disturbing.]

While recording a child’s statement on the abuse, the police should do the following1:

  • The child’s statement should preferably be recorded by a woman police officer not in uniform.
  • It should be recorded at the child’s home or any place they feel comfortable.
  • It should be recorded in the language spoken by the child.
  • It should be recorded in the presence of a trusted adult and/or an expert, interpreter, translator, or social worker.
  • The child’s medical examination should be done within 24 hours in the presence of the parents or a trusted adult.
  • Frequent breaks should be taken while the child is narrating the incident. The child shouldn’t be rushed while recording the statement.
  • The police should use audio or video recording devices, if available.
  • The police officer should read out the recorded statement to the child.
  • The child/parent should get a copy of the statement.

The Magistrate must do the following while recording a child’s statement2:

  • The child’s statement must be recorded in the presence of the parents or any other person whom the child trusts.
  • The Magistrate can take the help of a translator or an interpreter while recording the child’s statement.
  • If the child has a mental or physical disability, the Magistrate can take the assistance of a special educator or any other expert.
  • The Magistrate can ensure that the statement of the child is recorded on camera.
  1.  Section 24, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.[]
  2.  Section 26, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.[]

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