When an allegation of sexual abuse is screened in by The Department of Children and Families (DCF) for investigation, they must report the sexual allegations to the District Attorney’s (DA) Office.
When sexual abuse occurs, the victim may get interviewed numerous times and be forced to repeatedly relive the trauma. The Sexual Abuse Intervention Network (SAIN) intends to reduce the number of interviews the child is faced with. The SAIN eliminates multiple separate interviews. The team members involved in a SAIN interview include:
- Assistant District Attorney
- He/She will discuss the possibility of prosecution with you.
- SAIN Coordinator
- He/She helps to coordinate the team interview.
- Forensic Interviewer
- He/She is specially trained to conduct the interview of a child.
- Family Service Advocate
- He/She works to meet the needs of the child victim and their family during the SAIN process and/or any court proceedings.
- Law Enforcement
- He/She works to carry out the criminal investigation, if any (i.e. making arrests).
- The Department of Children and Families (DCF)
- He/She will complete an investigation to determine if a child is being abused sexually or physically and/or being neglected.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (Pediatric SANE) and/or a mental health consultant can occasionally be present during the interview.
During a SAIN interview, the forensic interviewer conducts the interview of the child behind a one-way mirror room. The interviewer of the child will often have an ear piece in his/her ear to hear questions from the team observing the interview from behind the one-way mirror. The team can see into the room with the interviewer and the child, but the interviewer and the child cannot see out of the room hence the one-way mirror. Parents/guardians are NOT allowed to be present in the room or watch the SAIN interview.
Following the interview, team members meet to discuss the next steps. These next steps include the investigation, possible prosecution, the need for any victim advocacy, any necessary medical follow-up, and mental health referrals. The child and family are provided with victim services and support.