Prosecutors' perspectives on clarifying sexual acts in child abuse interviews

Burrows, Kimberlee S. and Powell, Martine B. 2015, Prosecutors' perspectives on clarifying sexual acts in child abuse interviews, Psychiatry, psychology and law, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 903-911, doi: 10.1080/13218719.2015.1019332.

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Title Prosecutors' perspectives on clarifying sexual acts in child abuse interviews
Author(s) Burrows, Kimberlee S.
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B. orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Journal name Psychiatry, psychology and law
Volume number 22
Issue number 6
Start page 903
End page 911
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-11
ISSN 1321-8719
1934-1687
Summary For the successful prosecution of child sexual abuse offences, investigative interviews of alleged victims must establish beyond reasonable doubt the nature of each sexual offence alleged. One limitation of interviews from an evidential (prosecution) perspective is that they often include unnecessary questions about sexual acts, which risk damaging the witness's credibility in the eyes of the jury. The aim of this study, using focus group methodology, was to elicit further guidance from prosecutors about when, and how, interviewers should clarify details about sexual acts. Overall, the prosecutors advised that three factors need to be considered before asking clarifying questions: whether the detail already provided by the witness would be clear to juries; the developmental age of the child; and the strength of the evidence available to support the allegations. These findings and their implications for investigative interviewers are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2015.1019332
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Science
1801 Law
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30076916

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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