Interviewing victims of sexual crimes.

Teresa Magalhães, Catarina Ribeiro


The approach to victims of sexual crimes is of special complexity due to the nature of this kind of crime, the impact of victimization and the specificity of judicial investigation procedures. The absence of physical evidence and the secrecy that characterizes the majority of sexual victimization cases frequently lead the victim's story to be used as one of few proof elements. Given the importance of the information supplied by the victim in the criminal inquiry, it is essential to create strategies to optimise the interview process, not only to preserve evidence, but also to prevent a secondary victimization process. This review discusses in a brief manner the extent to which information given by victims can be considered relevant forensic evidence, and then presents the methodological guidelines for interview that should be used in this type of expertise.

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