Interviewing Basics

  • Interview each person by him or herself. Domestic violence can occur in any relationship: heterosexual, gay, lesbian, trans-gendered, or bisexual. It is important to take some time early in the interview to meet with the individuals separately.
  • You can tell the person that it is standard procedure and ask anybody accompanying them to have a seat in the waiting area for a few minutes. Alternatively, depending on the setting, there may be a natural moment during which you are alone with the individual. Once you are alone with the person, you can ask about the nature of the relationship more specifically.
  • As with any initial interview, your first purpose is to establish rapport and a sense of trust, so that you can be a resource and support for this person. Everything else is in that context.

These interviewing basics apply as well to the partner who may be abusive.