Interviewing the Victim
When interviewing a victim, the investigator must keep in mind that the person they are speaking with has just been through a bad and often times a traumatizing experience. The victim’s health and personal safety must be the investigator’s primary concern. This may cause the interview with the victim to be postponed. The victim may be angry, afraid or even traumatized and not at a stage to talk with an investigator as they overcome their emotions. If the interview was to continue, these intense emotions may be projected onto the investigator. The investigator will have to use all of his or her communication skills to obtain the valuable information that the victim possesses (Hoffman, 2005). The victim should be asked specific questions that will allow the investigator to write a description of what happened in as much detail as possible.
The investigator should ask follow-up questions to clarify points in the victim’s statement. The victim should be asked if they know the other person(s) involved in the incident and what, if any, is their relationship to them. The investigator should obtain the victim’s personal information (home, work, cell and email) to facilitate follow-up conversations. The use of Social Media and the internet can be used to assist the investigator in locating this personal information about the victim and possible relationship between the victim and the subject (Hoffman, 2005).
∞ Victim Interview Questions (Open and Leading)
∞ What has happened to make you feel unsafe in the workplace?
∞ What has this person done or said to threaten you?
∞ What was the exact verbiage used in the threat?
∞ When did this behavior start?
∞ Why do you feel you are being targeted?
∞ How many times has this happened?
∞ Do others feel the same way? If so, why?
∞ What has your response been when this person does this?
∞ Were there witnesses to the incident? (who)
∞ Have any of your co-workers approached you regarding the matter?
∞ Where were you when the incident occurred?
∞ What was the triggering event to cause this last incident?
∞ Are you aware of any weapons this person may have?
∞ Are you aware of any problems this person may be having outside of work?
∞ What do you think is needed to restore your feeling of safety in the workplace?
∞ Show me how employee “B” touched or shoved you
∞ How close were you
∞ Did he/she hit you with his/her right or left hand
∞ How did he/she try to block you
∞ Use measuring scales to define the intensity
∞ Show me the way this person looked at you