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Child Victims in Canada’s Justice System

June 27, 2023  By Bill Wilson

Credit: Irwin Law

By Loree Armstrong Beniuk, Jo-Anne Hughes and Jack Reynolds

ISBN: 9781552215715

Child Victims in Canada’s Justice System is a very timely book, given the rising levels of crimes against children in Canada and the growing dangers for them in their use of the internet. The book deals with all matters relating to children within the justice system, including the nature and incidence of crimes against children; the symptoms, disclosure and investigation of child sexual abuse; the court process including the rights of the accused, the child as witness, and the trial and sentencing; the role of child and youth advocacy centres and their support for children before, during and after their appearance in court; the assessment, treatment and prevention of child sexual abuse; and a call to government and experts in the field to determine the appropriate actions necessary to better safeguard children and youth in today’s society.

The book is written for a diverse audience and serves as a very comprehensive guide for those working in, or training to work in, this field, including police officers, judges, crown attorneys, defence counsel, social service and child victim caseworkers, and victims’ advocates. It is also useful as a reference for schoolteachers, as a textbook for university courses, and as a guide to community leaders aiming to prevent, detect and respond appropriately to issues of child exploitation and victimization within their communities While there is a great deal of information on this subject available on the internet, this book pulls it all together. It offers a detailed blend of research data, factual background information, and very specific procedural instructions for those working with child victims.


It is a well researched and well written book by authors who have had many years of experience working directly with child victims. Loree Beniuk, who now has a private clinical practice, was the Supervisor of Clinical Services at Peel Children’s Centre and the Program Manager at the Child Development Institute in Toronto where she worked with more than forty treatment agencies and services. Jo-Anne Hughes was a co-founder and the Program Manager of the Child Witness Centre in Kitchener, and she was amongst the first to receive the Ontario Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction for outstanding services to victims of crime. Jack Reynolds was the Executive Director of the Child Witness Centre serving Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

– Bill Wilson, Crown Attorney Waterloo Region Retired), 2003-2015.

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