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Seen but not heard? Child survivor and practitioner views of the current video interview process in cases of sexual abuse against children

This project will explore ways of improving the video interview process from the point of view of a child victim.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Susanna Mitchell
Police region
South East
Level of research
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

Existing research into the experience of the video interview procedure from the child’s perspective is largely absent. It is widely acknowledged that there is much to be learnt from those who have been through the video interview process themselves.

The purpose of this research is to examine the current UK video interview process in cases of sexual abuse against children from the perspective child survivors. The findings will then be taken to criminal justice practitioners and form part of the interviews with them. If problems/potential improvements have been identified by the survivors then the practitioners will be asked for comment.

It is hoped that the research will identify realistic ways in which the process could be improved.

Research methodology

The researcher will obtain narrative accounts from 10 young survivors of sexual abuse in relation to their experience of the video interview process only. They will not be asked to provide any information about the case itself.

The research methods will echo those tried and tested in recent research and will take the form of semi-structured recorded interviews, and/or audio recorded narratives in private.

The findings will then form part of the interviews with criminal justice practitioners. Interviews will be carried out with CPS lawyers, social workers, police officers and specialist barristers.

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