Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Child Sexual Abuse Case in Dade County
A child recently had to tell their story of prolonged sexual abuse to a judge in Dade County.
But the district attorney prosecuting the case suggested that child did not have to relive their trauma.
We first told you Tuesday about the case of Ronald Craig Neugard. A jury convicted him on 6 counts, including multiple counts of aggravated sodomy and aggravated child molestation.
The Victim’s Testimony
The victim in this case tearfully told the judge what happened in what Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit (LMJC) District Attorney Clayton Fuller called “courageous and emotional” testimony.
Challenges Faced by Case Workers
In his release, Fuller expressed frustration that case workers in North Carolina who helped this victim were not able to tell their story, so they didn’t have to. Fuller says the victim had to testify due to the refusal of necessary witnesses from the SAFE Child Advocacy Center in North Carolina to participate in the bench trial despite numerous attempts over several months by the LMJC District Attorney’s office to have said witnesses participate.
Response from SAFE Child Advocacy Center
On Friday, we reached out to that agency to ask them why no one would cross state lines to help this victim. SAFE Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Cristin DeRonja had this to say:
SAFE Child Advocacy Center employees are committed to testifying in court proceedings that further our mission of preventing and eliminating child abuse when served correctly for an out of state trial, in an appropriate timeframe with ample notice that provides needed notice to prepare for court and travel, especially when an employee is on maternity leave and is unable to meet the original desired trial date.
Dr. Tammy Garland, a criminal justice professor at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, explained that when child sex suspects do not confess, case workers need to be subpoenaed. She emphasized that it’s a collective effort to protect the child and present evidence, and child sex abuse victims generally do not testify unless necessary.
It can’t all lie on the victim to basically report and to tell their story.
Although District Attorney Fuller did not provide further details on his frustrations with the agency, efforts will continue to gather more information about how this situation occurred. Updates will be provided accordingly.
(Note: We have not divulged some details of this story in order to protect the identity of the victim).
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
The article discusses a case of prolonged sexual abuse and the challenges faced by the victim in testifying in court. These issues are connected to SDG 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The article highlights the trauma experienced by the victim and the need for support and protection for survivors of sexual abuse.
The article also touches on the role of the justice system and the frustration expressed by the district attorney regarding the refusal of necessary witnesses to participate in the trial. This relates to SDG 16, which focuses on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- SDG 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres
- SDG 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
The article highlights the issue of sexual abuse against a child, which falls under the target of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (SDG 5.2). It emphasizes the need to address such violence and provide support to survivors.
The frustration expressed by the district attorney regarding the refusal of necessary witnesses to participate in the trial relates to the target of promoting the rule of law and ensuring equal access to justice for all (SDG 16.3). It highlights the importance of having a functioning justice system that can effectively handle cases of sexual abuse and protect the rights of victims.
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
- Number of reported cases of violence against women and girls
- Percentage of survivors of violence who receive necessary support services
- Number of witnesses willing to participate in court proceedings related to cases of violence against women and girls
The article does not explicitly mention specific indicators. However, based on the issues discussed, potential indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets include the number of reported cases of violence against women and girls, the percentage of survivors of violence who receive necessary support services, and the number of witnesses willing to participate in court proceedings related to cases of violence against women and girls.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table
|SDG 5: Gender Equality||5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres||– Number of reported cases of violence against women and girls
– Percentage of survivors of violence who receive necessary support services
|SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions||16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all||– Number of witnesses willing to participate in court proceedings related to cases of violence against women and girls|
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