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Victims of sexual offences: Aspects impacting on participation, cooperation and engagement with the interview process

Webster, William S. and Oxburgh, Gavin E. (2021) Victims of sexual offences: Aspects impacting on participation, cooperation and engagement with the interview process. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1321-8719

Item Type: Article


The way in which police officers interview sexual offence victims is pivotal to how their cases proceed through the criminal justice system (CJS). However, such interviews have previously been found to be lacking in overall quality, with some interviewers finding them technically difficult and stressful to conduct. In addition, victims often feel disbelieved, unsafe and/or uncomfortable during their police interview. The present study provides insight into the personal experiences of five female adult rape/sexual assault victims regarding their police interviews and the aspects that encouraged them to cooperate and engage during the interview process. Following semi-structured interviews, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to identify three key themes: (i) heading into the unknown, (ii) difficulty of talking about the crime and (iii) helpful and unhelpful interviewer approaches. Implications for practice are discussed,

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Uncontrolled Keywords: police interviewing; rape; sexual assault; victim; secondary revictimisation; cooperation; humane interviewing.
Depositing User: William Webster


Item ID: 14922
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1321-8719
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for William S. Webster: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 14:33
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2022 14:33


Author: William S. Webster ORCID iD
Author: Gavin E. Oxburgh

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology


Social Sciences > Criminology

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