|Author(s)||Charles Antaki, Emma Richardson, Elizabeth Stokoe, Sara Willott|
|Title||Dealing with the distress of people with intellectual disabilities reporting sexual assault and rape|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Police, interviews, learning disability, intellectual disability, rape|
When police officers interview people with intellectual disabilities who allege sexual assault and rape, they must establish rapport with the interviewee but deal with their distress in a way that does not compromise the interview’s impartiality and its acceptability in court. Inspection of 19 videotaped interviews from an English police force’s records reveals that the officers deal with expressed distress by choosing among three practices: minimal (e.g. okay) or no acknowledgement, acknowledging the expressed emotion as a matter of the complainant’s difficulty in proceeding (e.g. take your time) and rarely (and only if the complainants were apparently unable to resume their talk) explicit reference to their emotion (e.g. it’s obviously upsetting for you). We discuss these practices as ways of managing the conflicting demands of rapport and evidence-gathering.