The NYPD Will Interview Sexual Assault Survivors Using This Thoughtful New Technique

Detectives assigned to probe sexual assaults play a critical role in gaining and honoring the trust of the victims that come forward with their harrowing experiences. This fragile correspondence may improve in New York City — where, according to a Sunday report by The Wall Street Journal, the New York Police Department is considering a different strategy to understand and tackle sexual violence victims. The Journal reported that the NYPD may consider open-ended questions for sexual assault victims during their interview processes.

The head of the NYPD’s Special Victims Division, Michael Osgood, explained the strategy to the Journal — known as a Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview, or FETI — stating that getting into the sensory element of a person’s experience can help detectives improve their search for the culprit. In this kind of interview style, the interviewer will place emphasis on the sensory aspect of the victim’s experience. In other words, asking the victim what she felt during the experience can give insight into the incident and improve the search for the culprit.

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