Suggestions When Interviewing Victims of Sexual or Other Sensitive Crimes Provided to National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Interviewers During Refresher Training in 2011
• Be sensitive to what the respondent is telling you; however, keep the respondent on track because some respondents may have the tendency to tell you more than what is being asked.
• Be respectful and polite to victims, even to those who do not want to talk.
• Avoid unnecessary pressure. Be patient.
• Be supportive and let victims express their emotions, which may include crying or angry outbursts.
• Be careful not to appear overprotective or patronizing.
• Avoid judging victims or personally commenting on the situation.
• Remind the respondents periodically, if necessary, about the importance of their responses.
• Reassure the respondent that knowing the prevalence of the form of violence they are experiencing will be useful to expand efforts to identify ways to help victims of that type of crime and to hold perpetrators accountable.
• Supply the respondent with a copy of the NCVS-110 Fact Sheet brochure (show example), which contains several hotline numbers that they may find helpful to call if the person asks for assistance. Make sure you have an ample supply of the Fact Sheet to provide to respondents when needed.
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Justice Statistics (2011a, pp. 2-33-2-34).
Monitoring of interviews is a method of ensuring quality control over the interview process, improving interviewer performance and improving data quality. It is a standard practice for central location telephone interviews. It is more limited with field interviewing and with decentralized telephone interviewing. Thissen et al. (2009, p. 2) provide an overview of the classic techniques of monitoring in field data collection and their advantages and disadvantages. These techniques include in-person observation; post-interview discussions with interviewers; verification contact, by telephone or in-person reinterview; review of response data and timers; and tape recording during interview.
The NCVS is collected with a combination of field and telephone interviews conducted by the field interviewers. Thus, there is currently no