The reason why a victim should testify is that in many cases, it can spell the difference between an acquittal and a conviction. It also adds weight to the evidence against the accused.
Hesitance in Testifying
It’s true that a lot do not testify and in many ways it’s understandable. Victims of rape or child abuse are afraid of the shame and stigma it can bring. Going through the actual experience is hard enough.
If you go to court, it means having to relive the ordeal again. You also have to do it in front of people. The victim will also have to face questioning from the opposing lawyer.
The Benefits of Speaking Out
While it’s hard, the advantages are more pronounced. One reason why a victim should testify is that it can bring forth justice. By speaking out, justice can be served. It might remove some of the pain or it might not. But the important thing is that the perpetrator pays for his / her crimes. It can bring about a sense of closure to that chapter of one’s life.
Preventing Other Crimes
Another reason to speak out is to stop the activity altogether. Assume you were a victim of robbery. You don’t testify and the criminal gets away. Chances are that person will be emboldened.
By not taking the right steps, he / she will victimize other people. Their next victim could be someone you know or love. That person might actually come back and go after you, which is why a victim should testify.
Crime Does Not Pay
Testifying is one of the best ways to ensure that the justice system keeps working. Imagine if you don’t testify and others follow suit. It will give criminals confidence to continue their activities. By speaking of the truth, it will put fear in their hearts.
At the same time it sends a message to would-be perpetrators that you won’t allow yourself to be victimized. In other words, you’re going to fight back.
This is perhaps best exemplified in cases of financial swindling / scams. Reading the papers will show you why a victim should testify. Even if the perpetrator was rich, the testimonies of the victims can put them behind bars.
There are many cases of rich people going to jail for swindling the layman. The belief that the wealthy can get away with anything only applies if you allow it. You must not allow yourself to be victimized. You must stand for your rights.
For victims, they must set aside feelings of shame or stigma. Being victims, they are on the side of justice. Rather, it is the criminal who must bear the guilt and punishment. Victims can seek support from friends and relatives. By displaying courage, they also give strength to others who may be afraid to speak out.
These are the reasons why a victim should testify. While difficult, it can bring about righteousness in the end. It is like going through a dark tunnel before emerging to see the light.