Back to Criminal Justice Index. In sex crimes, the victim interview is usually your main evidence and your main source of evidence leads, more so than with any other crime. At the same time, the sex crime victim's telling of their stories is usually much more inhibited, guarded, and vulnerable to distortion than for victims of other crimes.
Sexual assault victims have long faced unwarranted skepticism from friends and family members, as well as responding professionals. In this Training Bulletinwe document examples of this historical bias and examine a few measures that have been taken to help ameliorate it. In particular, we focus on the Start by Believing philosophy and examine its relevance for victim and suspect interviews.
All rights reserved. When deciding whether or not to report a sexual assault to the police, it is important to know what will be involved in the process so you can make the decision that is best for you. Remember, the role of the police is to be impartial investigators.
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It is natural to spend a limited amount of time on benign topics during the initial contact with a victim, and then ease into the real purpose of the interview. However, if this is done, we recommend it be very limited. Some people even go so far as to recommend that the interviewer establish rapport by seeking an area of common interest with the victim.
Advertisement Close X. Three hours into Dr. The knowing question elicited a rare moment of laughter in the emotionally charged hearing room, where Mitchell had attempted to interview Ford in five-minute increments while continually ceding the floor to Democratic senators for questioning.
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Officers and investigators who use trauma-informed practices during interactions with victims will validate and assist in their recovery, as well as increase the potential for positive case outcomes. The International Association of Chiefs of Police Sexual Assault Incident Report points out that the treatment the victim receives by law enforcement may affect their decision to continue with a case. They may be useful to SARTs seeking to improve sexual assault investigations.
The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Even after 15 years serving as a police officer, Fay still vividly remembers the first rape investigation she took part in. The survivor, a year-old girl, had been raped by a man in his twenties at a party.