Speaking to HBA Survivors: During the Interview

During The Interview

Allow chaperones if requested – if a survivor requests that a chaperone, either in-person or dialled in, accommodate the request. The chaperone will not be there to interfere editorially, but instead to listen for any potential identifying factors that may put the survivor at risk, to or simply for support.

Be aware of the survivor’s emotions – if you notice a survivor becoming upset or distressed during an interview, pause the interview, and ask them if they need to take a break. If necessary, stop the interview and rearrange. If working with an organisation like Savera UK, make your contact aware that the interview was paused/stopped, so the team can check in with the survivor. If possible and appropriate, you could check on them the following day yourself, as this support and consideration is usually valued by survivors.

Respect the survivor’s boundaries – if a survivor declines to comment on a topic raised, refuses to talk about a certain part of their experience or asks that it is not covered in the piece, respect the boundaries they establish. We generally advise that such boundaries are discussed ahead of the interview, to avoid upset or frustration for either the survivor or journalist.

Return to main “Best Practice: Speaking to Survivors” page