Speaking to HBA Survivors: After the interview

After The Interview

Check in with the survivor – be aware that it may take a survivor some time to recover from talking about their personal experiences. Ensure some aftercare is in place after the interview, for example ensuring they have someone to reach out to if they are struggling, checking in the following day with a call or text or arranging for their supporting organisation to do this for you.

Remove any potentially identifying details from copy or content – if an interviewee is to remain anonymous, it is vital that care is taken not to identify them indirectly, by including details that could allow a reader to piece together a person’s identity based on information that may seem inconsequential (in court reporting this is known as ‘jigsaw identification). Such information can include – but is not limited – to full name, age, location, number of children, place of work or education and physical descriptions. If possible, work with an organisation or charity to ensure you remove the risk of identification.

Share a physical copy of quotes for review – by sharing quotes to be used for review by the survivor or their supporting organisation, they can be reviewed for any potentially identifying information or information that could put their safety at risk.

Be aware of community and family interference – as speaking out about HBA and harmful practices is taboo and may have repercussions, some family and community members may reach out to disparage or discredit your interviewee, to prevent a story being published or broadcast, or to turn the narrative against the survivor. Apply usual legal checks and due diligence and discuss any such interactions with the survivor or supporting organisation before making any decisions.

Consider reading back the full article for factual checking – the issues of HBA and harmful practices are incredibly complicated and for those who are not experts or working in this area full-time, it is very easy for mistakes to be made and harmful myths perpetuated, simply by human error. Consider reading your article back to the survivor or supporting organisation for feedback and guidance, to ensure an accurate and effective article.

Keep survivors informed – wherever possible, keep survivors and their supporting organisation informed of where and when their interview and story will be used. If possible, check in after publication/broadcast or arrange for someone else to do this.

Raise any concerning comments or correspondence – if you notice any troubling comments or emails following publication of the article, share this information with the survivor and/or supporting organisation. Ignoring them could put lives at risk. With this in mind, consider disabling comments on articles and social media posts, unless you can monitor comments rigorously.

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