Successful Trauma Informed Victim Interviewing

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Successful Trauma Informed Victim Interviewing

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When gathering evidence during the investigation of sexual assault crimes, it is necessary for law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system, such as prosecutors, to ask the victim questions that they may find difficult to answer, in order to establish the facts and circumstances of a reported crime.

The phrasing of questions during victim interviews is important. Depending on how a question is asked, it might be perceived by a victim as blaming them for their actions, or for what they may be unable to recall. This document demonstrates how trauma-informed interview techniques can be used to reframe these questions in a manner that helps victims retrieve memories from a traumatic event and assists law enforcement in gathering more information while making the victim feel more supported and increasing the likelihood that they stay involved in the criminal justice process.

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