Child victims and those adults who choose to have a forensic interview meet with a professional who is specially trained. Interviews are conducted in a victim-friendly, safe, supportive environment using open-ended, non-leading questions. Forensic interviews are digitally recorded. This reduces the need for the child to be interviewed multiple times by many different professionals. Minimizing the number of interviews reduces additional trauma to the child and preserves their statement. In addition, members of the multidisciplinary team (law enforcement, MCD investigators, SEMO-NASV staff) observe the interview in progress from another room.
When victims and their families arrive at SEMO-NASV, they are greeted by caring, professional staff who help reassure them and answer preliminary questions. The waiting room at SEMO-NASV is furnished with games, toys and books appropriate for children and adolescents, as well as comfortable chairs and reading material for adults.
The Intake Coordinator will meet with the caregiver or adult victim, help them fill out the necessary paperwork and talk to them about what will happen during the forensic interview. A nurse will meet with the caregiver and/or adult victim to describe what happens during the medical exam and obtain the necessary consents. A victims’ advocate will show the victim the forensic interview room and meet with the adult victim or non-offending caregiver after the interview to explain the Crime Victim Compensation program and to offer support services and resources.
After the interview, victims are brought to the exam room by a SEMO-NASV nurse who is specially trained to assess child and adult victims of violence. The exams at SEMO-NASV are non-invasive, victim friendly healthcare evaluations.
The forensic interviewer, nurse and victims’ advocate will talk to the adult victim or caregiver after the interview and exam, with the investigative team, to discuss what will happen next and answer any questions they may have. The advocate will maintain contact with victims and families to provide ongoing support and information about the investigation process as well as follow-up.