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EVAWI HOME > Webinars > Webinar Details
Trauma Informed Interviewing - Turning Understanding into Outcomes Webinar
Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
9:00 AM PT/10:00 AM MT/11:00 AM CT/12:00 PM ET

This webinar is approximately 90 minutes long.

Course Description

So you've learned about trauma and its effects. Now what? How do you translate that knowledge into outcomes for victims? How do you pursue justice and also be trauma informed? How do you work with victims who need help but are unable or unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors? How can you help victims of trauma share their stories so the legal system can pursue accountability for offenders - whether that is through a criminal conviction or a civil protective order?

In the context of domestic violence and sexual assault, the victim is often also the only witness to the crime. This has implications for recall and testimony, based on the trauma experienced by the victim. Prosecutors need to know what happened to pursue a criminal case, and civil attorneys must be able to articulate the acts of violence to apply for protective orders. However, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are often unable to tell their story in a clear timeline and with the kind of consistency that the law requires. The result is that victims who cannot tell their story effectively have a significant barrier to accessing the legal system.

This webinar will focus on best practices for trauma informed interviewing of victims to retrieve memories of incidents that can be used by law enforcement investigators, prosecutors and civil attorneys. Topics will include a brief overview of trauma and its relationship to memory storage and recall, examples from actual cases where trauma informed interviewing produced concrete information that was used in court, information on interacting with victims who are resistant to prosecuting the batterer, strategies for helping victims construct a timeline for their narrative, and, most importantly, techniques for asking questions in a way that helps victims recall the answers.


As a result of this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Describe the challenges with memory storage and recall of traumatic events.
  • Explain the value that trauma informed interviewing affords to both victims and law enforcement.
  • Conduct a trauma informed interview that produces high value information.


Additional Resources

EVAWI also offers a variety of resources related to the topic of neurobiology and trauma-informed interviewing practices. 


Neva Fernandez PictureNeva Fernandez, Advocacy Manager, Texas Legal Services Center - Crime Victims Program; Co-Chair, Austin Travis County SARRT, Austin, TX

Neva Fernandez is the Advocacy Manager in the Crime Victims Program at Texas Legal Services Center. This program provides direct representation to victims of violent crimes across the state of Texas. She has worked exclusively with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in the criminal and civil justice system.

Ms. Fernandez has a M.A. in sociology from New York University and has benefited by working as an advocate both within law enforcement, and in an advocacy organization where she currently serves in legal aid. For the better part of her career, Ms. Fernandez has interviewed victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She also performs direct advocacy with law enforcement, court staff, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Texas Attorney General's office.

With over $800,000 in grants she has written and managed for the Travis County Attorney's office, Ms. Fernandez also conducts training in Texas on advocacy and holistic approaches to civil legal remedies for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.


This project is supported by Grant No. 2015-TA-AX-K015 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
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