The way in which police officers interview sexual offence victims is pivotal to how their cases proceed through the criminal justice system (CJS). However, such interviews have previously been found to be lacking in overall quality, with some interviewers finding them technically difficult and stressful to conduct. In addition, victims often feel disbelieved, unsafe and/or uncomfortable during their police interview. The present study provides insight into the personal experiences of five female adult rape/sexual assault victims regarding their police interviews and the aspects that encouraged them to cooperate and engage during the interview process. Following semi-structured interviews, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to identify three key themes: (i) heading into the unknown, (ii) difficulty of talking about the crime and (iii) helpful and unhelpful interviewer approaches. Implications for practice are discussed, together with the need to further our understanding of this specialist area of police work.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Psychiatry, Psychology and Law|
|Early online date||17 Nov 2021|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 17 Nov 2021|