Scenario: You are an investigator for Child Protective Services in your community. One of the most difficult aspects of interviewing is the interview of a suspected victim of child sexual abuse. Often, the first interviewers are detectives or investigators from the police department with little or no training for interviewing child sexual abuse victims. The Commander of the Sex Crimes Unit would like to you to identify errors in interviewing by police investigators when questioning child sex crime victims about the circumstances during the alleged offense(s). The psychopathology of the suspect and the victim are very important, but the victim can be misled unintentionally by police resulting in false or inaccurate complaint information.
The Commander of the Sex Crimes Unit would like you to outline and explain the specific areas to be avoided when questioning a child as a sex crime victim.
Specifically, he is concerned with the following:
- The use of suggestive questions
- The implication of confirmation by other people
- Use of positive and negative consequences
- Repetitious questioning
- Inviting speculation
In a 35-page paper, address the specific concerns, and explain why it is preferable to have the child interviewed by a person with the qualifications to potentially testify as an expert witness in subsequent criminal trials