Who will accompany parents as the forensic interview is conducted?

It is understandable that waiting during the interview may be difficult. We encourage you to bring a friend or other support person and our Victim Advocate will provide support and helpful information while the interview is taking place.

What support is available for children and parents?

Abused children often do not feel good about themselves. A child may feel frustrated, guilty, scared or helpless. Professional counseling can help children and parents. A therapist is on site at the CAC or our Victim Advocates can make a referral.

How can I prepare my child?
  • Do:
    • Tell your child he or she will be visiting a safe, comfortable place to speak with a person whose job it is to talk with kids and teenagers.
    • Make sure your child is well rested.
    • Give your child permission to talk with the interviewer and let him or her know it is OK to talk about anything.
    • Bring the child’s comfort item if that would be helpful.
  • Don’t:
    • Ask your child questions about the situation
    • Tell your child what to say
    • Promise treats or rewards to your child for talking
    • Ask why your child didn’t tell sooner
Is a medical evaluation required?

No child is forced to have a medical evaluation. It is highly recommended that all children have a medical examination conducted by specially trained examiners. It is a head to toe non-invasive exam, which is comforting and therapeutic for the child.

What support is available for family members?

Often it is difficult for family members to begin the healing process. Our Victim Advocates will assess your needs and discuss available services.

Will the parent/guardian be present for the medical examination?

Each case is different and is discussed with the child and family.

What should parents talk about with their children after coming to the CAC?

Let your child take the lead. Listen rather than ask questions. Don’t be concerned if your child is too physically or emotionally fatigued to talk initially. You should always praise your child for being brave and offer both love and support no matter the outcome.

Will the examination definitely show whether or not abuse occurred?

Most children have no physical injuries after sexual abuse, but this certainly does not mean that abuse didn’t occur.

What is a forensic interview?

A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child, designed to obtain accurate and complete information when there are concerns of possible events of physical or sexual abuse or when the child has been exposed to violence. The interview is conducted in a developmentally and culturally sensitive manner by a trained forensic interviewer.

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