Should I question my child about what happened?
Child Forensic Interviews
A Child first, semi-structured conversation
In cases of child sexual abuse, the Cece Yara Foundation provides child forensic interviews in order to assist the Police to obtain and gather critical and valuable evidence based on the child’s experience. We understand that most children are traumatised through victimization or stigmatisation and may not be emotionally prepared to serve as a witness in court – possibly out of fear of the alleged perpetrator, fear that their families or professionals will not believe them, or fear of the judicial system itself.
A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child the sole intention of eliciting detailed information about a possible event that the child may have experienced or witnessed
Why Child Forensic Interviews Matter
- It is quite difficult to prove the offence happened because the perpetrators often deny the abuse and most acts of sexual abuse cannot be witnessed, the child’s statement is a vital evidence in child abuse cases. Developmental issues, such as children’s varying abilities to recall events and the use of language, as well as the trauma they may have experienced, complicate efforts to obtain information about the abuse. The forensic interview is designed to overcome these obstacles.
- To ensure facts are gathered in a way that will be upheld in investigations and prosecutions, forensic interviews are carefully controlled: the interviewer’s statements and body language must be neutral, alternative explanations for a child’s statements are thoroughly explored, and the results of the interview are recorded in such a way that they can bear scrutiny.
- To obtain information that will either corroborate or refute allegation or suspicion of abuse and neglect.
- To assess the safety of the child’s living arrangements.
- To assess the medical and psychological needs of the child.
- To assist in police investigations and to provide quality evidential information.