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EVAWI > Resources > Best Practices > Victim Interview
 
Victim Statements

One of the fundamental challenges to the credibility of sexual assault victims is that many – if not most – make statements to the law enforcement investigator or others that are incomplete, inconsistent, or just plain untrue. In this article, we explore the many causes of such problems and identify ways to overcome the challenges that they pose for a sexual assault investigation.

Grounding Techniques

It can be beneficial for investigators to familiarize themselves with grounding techniques that can be used to assist victims who have a flashback during the interview. A flashback can occur as the result of the victim “re-living” the assault.

Interviewing the Victim: Techniques Based on the Realistic Dynamics of Sexual Assault

This training module provides detailed guidance for how to conduct a successful interview with a victim of sexual assault, with particular emphasis on sexual assaults committed by someone known to the victim (i.e., a non-stranger).

Effective Victim Interviewing

This webinar provided by Joanne Archambault and Roger Canaff provides training content drawn from the OLTI module on Interviewing the Victim, which walks participants through the stages and techniques for successfully interviewing sexual assault victims.

A Paradigm Shift: The Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI)

This webinar provided by Russell Strand (of the U.S. Army Military Police School) reviews current forensic psycho-physiological knowledge and practices, charting promising new approaches for how to conduct law enforcement interviews with victims of trauma. Using the forensic experiential trauma interview approach, Strand argues that we can gather the best possible evidence by interviewing victims in ways that empower and calm them, so they are able to provide more accurate, coherent, consistent and persuasive narratives.

Recording Victim Interviews

This training bulletin explores the critical decision of whether or not to tape the victim interview (either audio or video). This can be a controversial issue in some communities, and both police and prosecutors must weigh the advantages and disadvantages before implementing any policy. However, it is worth noting that interviews with child victims have been taped for years, and law enforcement professionals and others typically recognize the important advantages of this practice. Many of the same advantages exist for adult and adolescent victims.

Training Bulletin on Neurobiology of Trauma

EVAWI offers a training bulletin entitled: Understanding the Neurobiology of Trauma and Implications for Victim Interviewing, written by Dr. Chris Wilson, Dr. Kim Lonsway, and Sgt. Joanne Archambault (Ret.), with contributions by Dr. Jim Hopper. This training bulletin provides basic information about the brain and explores the impact of trauma on behavior and memory. It then highlights the implications for law enforcement interviews conducted with victims of sexual assault and other traumatic crimes.

Successfully Investigating Sexual Assault Against People with Disabilities

This training module is written from a law enforcement perspective, providing information and guidance for first responders as well as investigators and even prosecutors. However, it is intended to be equally helpful for others whose work intersects with the criminal justice system, to ensure that people with disabilities who are victimized have equal access to information, programs, and services – and that they are treated with fairness, compassion, and respect.

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