Related Posts: ERIN MARTINSON

In the context of sexual assault, the victim is often also the only “witness” to the crime. This carries with it inherent problems of recall and testimony as memories are stored differently when someone is under extreme stress. Specifically, this workshop will focus on best practices for trauma-informed interviewing of victims to retrieve memories of sexual violence that can be used by law enforcement, prosecutors and civil attorneys to achieve justice. Topics will include a brief overview of trauma and its relationship to memory storage and recall, provide 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, how to assist victims in creating a timeline and, most importantly, how to ask questions in a way that helps victims retrieve the answers. The workshop will then apply these techniques to helping survivors have a voice within the criminal justice system, including guiding attorneys on how to help survivors assert their rights and the overall benefits of providing representation to survivors in a criminal prosecution.