Interviewing: Establishing Trust
is appropriate for the initial
the person who's going to interview a child for suspected sexual abuse,
to establish trust with the child by forming a relationship with the
to ensure that the child will feel some degree of control over the
And then, subsequently, the interviewer can approach the subject of
abuse. Then, when the child is first evaluated -- when
working with a clean slate -- it will be possible to get an accurate
of what took place. Thereafter one should minimize any further
for a number of reasons.
CAVEATThere is danger in evaluating a child. Children are very susceptible to suggestion. Please read Stephen Ceci's books. One of them is Witnesses in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: What Can and Should Be Said in Court Stephen J. Ceci (Editor), Helene Hembrooke (Editor), another book with the imprimatur of the guru of the field of children's suggestibility.
Read also the amicus brief to Margaret Kelly Michaels' case on this website: Amicus Brief by Committee of Concerned Social Scientists, State of NewJersey v. Margaret Kelly Michaels