Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. Pam Criss


In the United States, each year, there are at least one million cases of child sexual abuse and even more cases that were not reported. For the cases that are reported, the child will meet with a social worker or other professional for a forensic interview. The goal of a forensic interview is to explore claims or suspicions of sexual abuse. The sexually abused children who participate in these interviews have already been traumatized and may not want to disclose. Yet the job of the interviewer is to elicit forensically sound information and details about the events from the children that can be used in court. This must be done without traumatizing the child more and without eliciting false allegations. This paper discusses what factors prevent the child from disclosing. This paper also explores the different protocols and tools the interviewer can implement to elicit more forensically sound information.