Discussion: Pitfalls in Interviewing Victims

In the assessment of victims, pay special consideration to issues that may affect the ways in which the victims may react to your interventions. You need to do your homework and be aware of issues of possible relevance to the particular person or families you will be interviewing, whether you are:

Interviewing a victim as part of a psychological evaluation for the court
Working with law enforcement and need information to help in the prosecution of a crime
Working as a consultant to an attorney who is defending a person with a history of trauma

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Some of the factors possibly influencing people’s reactions to their traumatic experiences and their receptivity to certain manners of interviewing include:

Age, gender, and sexual orientation
Religious or spiritual beliefs and background
Cultural or ethnic background
Education and intellectual functioning
Physical illnesses
Language proficiency

Tasks:
Select two of the factors listed above and explain in detail how they may affect your approach in interviewing and assessing a victim. Support your responses using examples and references from your textbook and other resources, such as websites. Include the references at the end of your posting.
All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.

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