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This third episode of the season entitled “Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases” in the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Just Science podcast series is an interview with Natasha Alexenko, Jordan Satinsky, and Marya Simmons, in which they discuss trauma-informed, victim-centered interviewing in sexual assault cases.
Background information for the interview notes that a sexual assault victim’s experiences with law enforcement investigators and victim advocates can influence how sexual assault victims will approach future interactions with the criminal justice system. Recognizing that each sexual assault victim is unique and will have distinctive responses to her/his victimization prepares investigators and victim advocates to respond appropriately to the needs of the survivor and increase the likelihood of constructive victim cooperation in the case investigation. The three persons involved in the presented interview have been working together in developing and promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed interviewing strategies in sexual assault cases. In the interview, they discuss the importance of infusing interviews with sensitivity to the victim’s reaction to the victimization and the offender, as well as the difficulties this poses and the techniques it requires in obtaining some investigative information from the victim.